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Full text of "Nag's Head, or, Two months among "The bankers" : a story of sea-shore life and manners"

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^^>-^p^%^^ d 

: Sirtdav^s.Iith. ThJU-f 




(i La, nous trouverons sans peine, 
Avec toi, le verre en main, 
L'homme apres qui Diogene 
Courut si long-temps en vain !" 

J. B. Rousseau. 

; - 1 was born to speak all mirth and no matter !" 





Entered according to the act of Congress, in the year 1851, by 


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of 





My dear Sir: — 

When, at the idle suggestion of a friend, I had 
whilcd away some of the else unoccupied hours of a 
five months' passage homeward, by writing a book, you 
were pleased to pat the shy bantling encouragingly on 
the head, and to say a friendly word to the Publisher. 
May I, in acknowledgment of that kindness, present 
another, the youngest, to your Burchcll-like caresses, in 
the belief of its fewer imperfections, and with the con- 
ventional, but hearty, assurance that I am 

Yours, always, 

Merry Him,, 

Bertie 6V, N. C. 











A STORM ON THE BANKS, . • . . . .32 









OLD JACK, . 70 






THE WRECK, , . 85 


NAG'S HEAD— AS IT WAS AND IS, . . . .96 











AMUSEMENTS, . . . . . . .159 


THE BANKERS, . . . . . .161 






Worthy reader, a word with you ! Were you ever 
at Nag's Head? Heard you ever of it ? I shall provoke 
no jealousy on the part of Mr. Wiley, the author of 
"Roanoke, or where is Utopia," by saying a word or 
two of this Ultima Thule in The Old North State 

Briefly, then, a glance at the map will show you a 
long bank, varying from a few yards to some furlongs in 
width, extending like a vast breakwater along almost 
the entire coast of the Carolinas. Through this there 
are several inlets from the sea, leading into a cordon of 
beautiful sounds (among which the Albemarle and the 
Pamlico are the most considerable), which separate 
" The Banks" from the mainland. In some places, this 
ridge is as arid as the shores of the Dead Sea. In 
others, a dwarfish growth of pine and live-oak light up 
its grim features into a smile of hospitable welcome, 
from your packet-experience of bodily compressibility 
to the free air and unfettered gait of The Land. Not 
a little of the picturesque, too, peeps pleasantly out 

14 nag's head. 

from among the "Upguoines" (as the Bankers call the 
oak- crested acclivities), and, if I may burden the reader 
"with my own preferences, Nag's Head, 

""With some fair spirit for its minister," 

appears to me to possess some very decided features of 
comfort not enumerated in any of the geographies as 
belonging to Cobi or Sahara, or whatever other 
"desert" the titled bard affected to long for as his 
"dwelling-place." May I venture the opinion that his 
lordship would sooner have paid rent in the dust and 
cobwebs of Grub Street? 

Nag's Head is in latitude 35° 30' North, on a nar- 
row part of The Banks, and about midway between 
Kill-devil Hills and the New Inlet ; just at the northern 
entrance to Roanoke Sound. Enough of description. 
It was never my forte. 


To begin at the beginning. It was on the afternoon 
of a pleasant day in July, of this present year of our 

Lord, that we left the pretty village of H , on the 

Perquimans. I say we, not intending thereby to appro- 
priate that much abused part of speech to myself; for 
there were little fewer than a score of us. On the morn- 
ing of that day might have been seen a very manifest 
excitement among the carts (Kyarts, d la Carolina) of 
"the aforesaid precinct;" all the more manifest from 
the contrast with their ordinary meek demeanor. For, 
on almost any day of the long, lazy, listless, lingering 
(vide Canning, passim !) days of midsummer, you shall 
see them with heads sluggishly hung down, Quaker-like, 


unpretending, passionless — perhaps I might say aristo- 
cratic, in their bearing and presence. 

The mules, too, wore the air of bustle ; and their 
gravity stood out in large relief from the glistening 
eyes and teeth of their sable drivers, glee-inspired with 
the excitement of departure. 

The carts were laden with every imaginable species 
of household conveniences, and were kept in motion for 
some hours in conveying to the river's bank the thou- 
sand and one articles of furniture necessary for a two 
months' residence at Nag's Head. 

Three o'clock in the afternoon was the appointed 
hour for our departure ; but it passed, and the good 
schooner John Edmondson still swung lazily at her moor- 
ings. Four o'clock came — and passed ; and five ; and 
six ; and then the carriage made its tardy appearance, 
with as ill a grace as a late guest at a dinner. There 
were already some few loiterers on the shore, but their 
number increased and multiplied ; for accompanying 
and following the carriage was a throng of v masters, 
misses, and servants, to see us fairly under way. Such 
a bustle ! The decks were burdened with a quaint, 
domestic-looking, moving-day medley of furniture and 
luggage, among which there arise mistily to my re- 
collection dim images that take the shape of jugs, 
trays, baskets, axes, beds and bedding, cart-wheels and 
bodies ruthlessly divorced, parasols, a venerable um- 
brella, and a bottle of Sands's sarsaparilla. In the 
waist was a Botany Bay-looking colony of ducks and 
hens ; and, forward, Old Joe, the sleek, happy-looking 
boy, ingloriously destined to two months' hard labor in 
the sands of Nag's Head. Aft, thronging the poop, 
the taffrail, the companion-way and the cabin, were the 

16 nag's head. 

small folks, shouting, dancing, antic-mad ; while John, 
the baby — long life to him ! — crowed like a young 

At last the fasts were cast off from the trees on the 
river's bank, and the draw removed to enable us to pass 
the floating-bridge. Up went mainsail, foresail and jib ; 
hard a starboard went the helm, and we were soon mid- 
way in the channel of the beautiful Perquimans. A flut- 
ter of bonnets and white handkerchiefs, and a waving of 
hats, were the lingering symptoms of an expiring good- 
by. The breeze freshened. The sun sank lazily down 
to his rest, and ere long the pale beams of the waning 

" That bring into the homesick mind 
All we have loved or left behind," 

were glistening over river and village. I was fast 
lapsing into a sentimental abstraction, when I was 
recalled to consciousness by many a laugh from young 
and happy compagnons du voyage, and a score of ques- 
tions from the same source. 

The breeze freshened, not so much, by any means, 
as to give the most timid any fear that the John Ed- 
mondson (that ever a vessel should have such a misno- 
mer !) would carry away any of her spars, save in the 
common and entirely harmless way in which vessels al- 
ways carry away their spars when they leave port. The 
little schooner behaved cleverly ; looking up in the 
wind's eye without ever winding ; turning with almost 
military precision and quickness on her heel, and giv- 
ing an occasional bound (for all the world like a school- 
girl's " hop, skip, and a jump" after study hours) as if 
she scented the breath of Old Ocean himself. 


Of course, there was no sea-sickness ; no shrieks of 
feminine alarm; no tragic " captain !" with clasped 
hands d la Siddons. Even the geese and hens were 
grave, and decorously maintained a high-toned retinue 
worthy of the first circles ; while Old Joe's resigned 
gravity was a tower of strength to the other quadrupeds ; 
videlicet, the two dogs, Jumper, the puppy (more of 
him anon), and Hector, some years his senior. I had 
last seen old Hector the gayest of the gay, in the canine 
circles ; now, 

" Quantum mutatus ab illo 

Hectore \? 

Both the dogs were tied to the prostrate wheels of the 
dismembered cart. 

The mate, Mr. Spunyarn, outdid himself. He was 
a spare, hardy, red-faced man, and scanty justice is 
done him in saying that he was busy. There was no 
place where he was not present "in the body." No- 
thing escaped his vigilance ; and the manner in which 
he performed his multifarious duties, from the time 

when he hauled in the bow-fasts at H to the end 

of the voyage, was worthy of what Mistress Budd would 
have called " a full-jiggered ship." 

The evening waned apace, and all hearts were happy 
in the prospect and assurance of " a quiet night of it" 
and a pleasant passage. We gathered together in a 
little knot on the weather-quarter, and sung. As the 
hours passed, symptoms of drowsiness began to manifest 
themselves, and one by one the children and the ladies 
disappeared. I was about to follow their example, when 
Gilbert came up to me with a touch of his dilapidated 
hat, and a most deferential scrape of the dexter foot, 


18 nag's head. 

"Massa Greg'ry." 

"Well, Gilbert?" 

" Ise got a message for you." 

" A message I — for me f 

"Yes, massa." 

" What is it Gilbert ?" said I, when he had gone for- 

" Why, you see, Massa Greg'ry — hope you won't take 
no 'fence of the liberty — it's cole an' damp like, and de 
boys is got a little whisky !" 

With a laugh at Gilbert's mysterious message (low be 
it spoken), I tasted the Monongahela and went aft. 

And then ; but suppose we begin a new chapter ! 



And then — as I was about to say at the close of the 
last chapter — the lunch. 

J had somehow discovered (such a genius for 

discovery should be encouraged and fostered) a tray, 
wherein were deposited indiscriminately, 

" Tros Tyriusque, nullo discrimine," 

a goodly ham and a loaf of corn bread, with other 
eatables, to which, after the solemn " message" I had 
received, I was prepared to do what is usually called, in 

speaking of such matters, justice. Nor were J and 

Capt. E- ■ at all averse, to all human appearance, to 


the performance of this part of the duties of the voy- 
age. Not Horseshoe Robinson himself could have 
made greater havoc among the contents of the tray 
than did we, though the worthy soldier would, out of all 
question, have given the account of killed, wounded, and 
missing with somewhat greater military precision. 

Midnight came. And let me, " in this connection," 
as the ministers sometimes say, remark to the reader 
thp.t nothing tragic is intended to be conveyed in this 
much-abused and overladen expression. Nothing like 
what such an expression might shadow forth in " The 
Bravo of Venice," " The Three Spaniards," or the 
Tales of the Inquisition ! 

I say midnight had come. And in this there is no- 
thing remarkable. Nor is it more remarkable that at 
that hour we should begin to feel drowsy. For the 
captain, he was far too anxious for the safety of his pas- 
sengers to allow himself any repose. He stood as 
silently and watchfully as a sentry on outpost duty, at 
the helm, keeping "a bright look-out to windward." His 
mate was not less on the alert ; and I felt, as I went 
below, the last of the stragglers, that, so far as human 
foresight and watchfulness were concerned, we might 
rest as calmly 

" as when sleep approached me, nestlingl 

From the sportive toils of thoughtless childhood." 

I went below. There, on the cabin floor, lay J , 

in an attitude which I thought was meant to convey the 
idea that he was asleep. 

If I have not already done so, it is proper to say here 
to the reader that the day had been a warm one. The 
month of July, in the northern hemisphere, usually is 

20 nag's head. 

warm. The latter part of the month is not usually much 
cooler, I think I may venture to say, than the first. It 
may also be remarked that the cabin of a schooner of 
sixty tons, when the schooner aforesaid has lain in a 
river sixty miles from the ocean, with a July sun melt- 
ing the pitch from her decks for some twelve hours, is 
probably not what might be called in dog-days even 
"a cool place." Without any disrespect, moreover, to 

Capt. E , it is proper here to state that I found in 

his berth a feather bed, such as would have delighted 
Madam 0' Grady, with a most generous supply of cover- 
ing thereunto appertaining. 

I turned in !!!!!!!!!!!!!! July and August! 

the coast of Africa! desert of Sahara! and 
whatever other warm places not herein mentioned and 
set forth the fame of which has come to mortal ears! 

1 can but pause and laugh as I write it down. I turned 
in to sleep in the captain's berth. With a constancy 
and with a perseverance, such as I flatter myself have 
not been known since the days of Latimer and Ridley, 
did I essay to close my eyes. And here permit me to 
observe how unnecessary and inadequate an invention 
was Dr. Thompson's steam bath! What nostrums are 
your medical sudorifics and diaphoretics! Talk of 
night-sweats to me I The very recollection throws me 
into a perspiration. 

The reader is prepared for the result. I turned out, 
that is to say, I rose ; and after mature deliberation as 
to what could be done "under the circumstances," I 

finally laid down beside J on the cabin floor, my 

long legs being very literally 

" Cabin* d, cribb'd, confined," 


by the narrow dimensions of the apartment. To com- 
plete the many tendencies which my worthy reader has 
already discovered towards "a good night's rest," 
J set up one of the most dismal, low-pitched, mo- 
notonous, heart-rending snores that it has been my lot 
to listen to in "this sublunary vale of tears!" 

" Dii immortales \" 

After a feverish sleep, I awoke unrefreshed, and went 
on deck. The John Edmondson was jumping, and 
pitching, and rolling, and performing divers similar 
antics not announced in the bill, very evidently to the 
intense satisfaction of our worthy mate. With the wea- 
ther tiller-rope wound tightly around the tiller, and lean- 
ing " to windward" at an angle of forty -five degrees, his 
eye wandering alternately to the binnacle, the wind's- 
eye, and the head of the sails, did he guide the good 
schooner on her way. Not Palinurus himself — reve- 
rently be it said — could have better conned our little 
craft. He said never a word ; but an occasional roll of 
the quid from the lee to the weather cheek, a setting 
together of the teeth, and a sort of complacent smirk 
peculiar to an old salt, and unlike the French or Span- 
ish grimace, all said, as plainly as words could have 
said it, 

"No you don't, old lady ! I've got the helm myself, 
an' you needn't undertake to play any of your tantrums 
with me!" 

And then he would look at the tiller, and the sky 
"to-windward," and the sails, with an expression that 
said very plainly, 

" Wal, I should like to know what's got into the 

22 nag's head. 

bloody old barky to carry such a weather-helm to- 

Attached to the taffrail, and just beneath the tra- 
veler, was a bench for the convenience of passengers. 
Upon this I lay down, and, to my infinite satisfaction, 
got a very comfortable nap. When I awoke, day was 

" There's Nag's Head, Mr. Seaworthy," said our 
polite captain; and I looked. And there, in the gray 
of the morning, its sand-hills, and live oaks, and white 
cottages dimly visible, lay the promised land, my home 
for two months, 


Forth from the cabin and hold, and from their rest- 
ing-places on deck, came passengers and servants, not 
many of us all, as may well be supposed, en grande 
toilette. The youngsters led the way. 

"Oh-h-h-h! oh! oh! there's Nag's Head!" "Do 
look at the sand-hills!" " And there's Roanoke Island !" 
"And there's our house!" "There's a fishing-boat!" 
were some of the expressions of delight which I heard 
on all sides. Preparations for breakfast were on foot. 
The galley was so low that the cook was obliged to sit 
down in the doorway to kindle the fire and to superin- 
tend the cooking. His activity is worthy a record; and, 
as a specimen of his ingenuity, it may be mentioned 
that he ground the coffee, holding the mill between his 
knees, and making use of a cigar-box to receive the pul- 
verized kernels. The meal was soon in readiness. The 
ladies and children breakfasted on the house, while I 
was similarly engaged on the taffrail. 


A lighter came off to us, and in this and the schoon- 
er's yawl we went ashore. A walk of half a mile 
brought us to 


of which I propose to give some little account in the 
next chapter. 



When you come to anchor at Nag's Head, you go 
ashore in the yawl belonging to the packet, or in one of 
the boats, or flats (scows), sent off by mine host of the 
hotel. A row of half a mile brings you to a little mar- 
ket-house, standing over the water, a few rods from 
shore. From this to terra firma you walk on a narrow 
staging of plank. 

Handing my valise to a sleepy-looking black boy, I 
straightway set forth along the shore of the sound for 
my new home. Did you ever walk in the sand, worthy 
reader, for a considerable distance ? Do you remember 
anything in life that so moderates any undue exube- 
rance of animal spirits, or a chance phase of romance 
or enthusiasm in your feelings ? Do you know anything 
more discouraging? Probably not. Well! saving only 
Provincetown, on Cape Cod, and the empire of Nan- 
tucket, and the Great Sandy Desert, there is no place 

24 nag's head. 

where sand is more abundant; sand constituting the 
small portion of terra firma yet left at Nag's Head 
above the surface of the sea. 

Along the interminable sand-beach did I resolutely 
plod my way for some two or three furlongs. My guide 
then turned to the left, and began the ascent of a very 
considerable hill. Sinking to the ankle, at times, in 
the sand, we at length reached the summit. Directly 
in front of us, but some ten or twelve feet lower, sur- 
rounded by a dwarfish growth of live-oak, was the 
house. It is a small story-and-a-half cottage, shingled 
and weather-boarded, but destitute of lath and plaster. 

On the eastern side, it has a comfortable piazza, 
where the family gather of an evening for a social chat, 
and for the enjoyment of the sea-breeze. It commands 
a wide view of the ocean ; and there is scarcely an hour 
of the day when you cannot see one or more vessels 
sailing by, brigs and schooners " wing and wing," or a 
"square-rigger" with both sheets aft, or else close- 
hauled and standing off and on. It is also the retreat, 
after dinner or tea, for the gentlemen to smoke ; and 
two or three times every day you may see little Tom 
bringing a coal of fire on the tines of a fork for the 
especial benefit of the smokers. Our host makes the 
piazza useful in still another way ; suspending on oaken 
hooks a goodly hammock, and enjoying a siesta with 
commendable zest. 

The cottage contains five apartments ; and they ac- 
commodate, at this present time, fifteen persons. C 

occupies the north chamber with me. There being no 
ceiling, we enjoy the pattering of rain upon the roof; 
that most delicious of luxuries when one is drowsy. On 
the other hand, however, when we have a brisk breeze 

. THE HOUSE. 25 

from the west, without rain, the sand comes sifting 
through every nook and cranny in the roof and weather- 
boarding; covering our beds and clothes, and filling 
one's hair and eyes — ay, and mouth, with a rapidity 
almost incredible. 

Altogether, the cottage is what is sometimes called 
" a love of a home." Its roof rises but little above the 
evergreen oaks by which it is hemmed in. It is retired, 
quiet, snug, comfortable ; and that, I fancy, is enough to 
say in praise of one house. We have gray-haired age ; 
sturdy manhood in its maturity ; youth and prattling 
infancy. We have faithful servants. We have good- 
humored faces— and we are happy ! 


My first impressions of Nag's Head were very fa- 
vorable. The mere escape from the malaria, and fevers, 
and heat of Perquimans was quite enough to raise my 
spirits ; but when we hove in sight of the harbor, in the 
gray of the morning, and saw the sun rise over Nag's 
Head, making still more than the usual contrast be- 
tween the white sand-hills and the dark, beautiful green 
of its clusters of oak ; when we discerned the neat white 
cottages among the trees, the smoke curling lazily from 
the low chimneys, the fishing-boats and other small craft 
darting to and fro, the carts plying between the shore 
and the dwellings, the loiterers who were eager to 
know who and how many had arrived, what wonder 
that I was prepared to be pleased with my new home ? 
And then the dear, delightful sea-breeze, calling up old 
memories of a lustrum of my life in which I roamed 
over many a clime of " the big world." 

26 nag's head. 

With that same breeze came vigor, strength, and ani- 
mal spirits to which I had long been a stranger ; and, 
as " it came on to blow" soon after we landed, so vio- 
lently that our luggage could not be sent ashore, I went 
forth upon the sands, on the hills, among the oaks, 
down to the sea-shore, and to the — ten-pin alley. 
Against this first feeling of vigor I had been cautioned; 
but I rambled too much, and when the morrow came, I 
was ill. I commenced the labors of my little school ; 
but with a feeling of languor and a dull aching in every 

bone of my body. Dr. A prescribed blue mass and 

morphine, and I flattered myself that I should be well 
in a very short time. 



I was doomed to be disappointed. There came one 
morning a feeling of lassitude and dizziness. This was 
succeeded by a remarkably chilly sensation for the time 
of year, and this was followed by a raging fever ! 

With a vague presentiment of long sickness did I go 
to my little chamber. My cheeks burned, my temples 
throbbed, and I tossed, in restlessness and pain, from 

side to side. Dr. A was sent for ; just the man for 

me, as I found him full of life and fun ; of a sanguine, 
hearty manner, and one of the most agreeable men in 
the world to converse T*ith. 


"Ah ! Mr. S ! got a fever, eh ? let's see!" and 

he felt my pulse. " Got you down at last. But I'll 
have you up again in two days. Most always kill such 
a fever the first shot. Never fail the second ! Take 
this pill to-night, and with the help of tonics we'll have 
you on your feet directly !" 

And with such encouragement to me, he forthwith 
retreated with Mr. "W— — to the piazza for a smoke. 
His manner, I am fully persuaded, was of as much 
benefit to me as his prescription. If there be one thing 
more disheartening than another to an invalid, it is to 
see his physician come into his apartment with a face 
as long as an undertaker's or Don Quixote's, or a mute's 
at a funeral, and shrug solemnly his broad shoulders, 
and with a sigh and a shake of the head, such as have 
not been heard or seen since the days of the Round- 
heads, gravely announce to him, in a tone of profoundest 
orotund, that he is in a bad way ! Out on them, say I. 
Give me Apollyon rather than Giant Despair, if I must 
have either. 

On the following morning, I rose at an early hour, 
feeling decidedly better. There was no recurrence of 
the chill or the fever. So great was the apparent im- 
provement that the doctor left me no prescription. 

"Just keep quiet, now, Mr. Seaworthy," said he; 
" be a little careful of your diet, and in a week you'll 
have the appetite of a shark. When people come to 
Nag's Head, you see, they think they can do anything ; 
run about in the noonday sun ; eat soft crabs for supper ; 
dance till midnight, and, maybe, drink a dozen juleps." 

" Pretty well for one day, doctor !" 

" Yes ; but that's not all. They go to bed with their 

28 nag's head. 

windows all open ; sleep, perhaps, in a strong draught 
of air, and then — as a matter of course — come the 
chill and the fever, and your humble servant the doc- 
tor !" 

During the day, I took morphine. When night came, 
there came with it horrid dreams, and deep, exhausting 
sleep. I awoke in the morning not feeling so well as I 
had expected. It is a common saying that disappoint- 
ments never come singly. It proved to be true ; and 
had there not been so much said and written upon the 
uncertainty of human expectations, I am by no means 
sure that I should not devote a chapter to that fertile 

The chill returned! and, it is needless to add, the 
fever came after it more intensely than before. Then 
came the weakness and languor of disease ; the thousand 
whims, the tendency to fretfulness, the ever-changing 
caprice of appetite, the ungovernable thirst, the longing 
for company at my bedside. The servants and children 
were enjoined to be quiet. My visitors stepped quietly 
and softly when they came in, and ever and anon there 
would appear, just far enough inside the door to be visi- 
ble, an inquiring face whose very look was enough to 
elicit the response 

" A little easier!" 

" Rather more fever!" 

"Doing nicely !" or, 

"About the same." 

Mr. W , who arrived on the very day that I was 

taken ill, was untiring in his attentions. I could hear 
him below — my hearing being sharpened by disease — 
giving particular directions to the servants as to their 
being quiet, and taking care not to disturb me. And 


then he would sit by my bedside and talk with me so 
cheerfully and so confidently concerning my speedy re- 
covery, that 

" the brood 

Of dizzy weakness, flickering through the gloom 
Of my small, curtained prison, caught the hues 
Of beauty spangling out in glorious change, 
And it became a luxury to lie 
And faintly listen." 

Sometimes he would lie on the bed with me, and 

sometimes read to me. Mrs. W sent very often to 

know how I was, and whether she could do anything for 

me. The elder Mrs. W , who seems like a mother to 

me, was untiring in her kindness. J would come in 

and read me asleep. Even little S , our curly-head- 
ed pet, paid me a visit. 

My friend Dr. M came while I was sick; and 

both he and Dr. A were my constant and welcome 


ISTor ought I here to omit mentioning the kindness 
and fidelity of the servants. One of the boys slept in 
the chamber with me. Old 'Titia, a sort of matriarcli 
among the servants, was ever ready to do anything I 
requested, and that with the evident good feeling which 
gives to such offices of kindness their true value. What 
I say of her I may say of them all. 

I grew worse. My disease assumed a more danger- 
ous phase, and I became hourly weaker. My spirits 

flagged. I grew desponding. I told Mr. W where 

to find my private papers. From the first I had had fears 
as to the new phase of the disease, and had begged for 
a prescription which had once saved my life. At last 


30 nag's head. 

Dr. M prepared it for me, gave it to me, and, on 

the following morning, I knew and felt that I was bet- 
ter! And a thrill of subdued joy and a silent prayer 
of thanksgiving to the Great Physician were my morn- 
ing offering, as the bright, clear August sun rose from 
his ocean lair. 

Slowly, but steadily, I recovered ; and oh! how glo- 
rious to me were 

" The common air, the earth, the sky I" 

A new week dawned upon me, and with my little 
family, my school around me, I gladly resumed my 
customary round of labor. 

There are few — I hope there are none — who have not 
felt that the chamber of sickness has taught them some 
of the gravest and best lessons of life. Could we know 
the first feelings f of the restored invalid, prominent 
among them all would appear a thrill of hearty grati- 
tude to Heaven for the gentleness with which the hand 
of the Chastener was laid upon him. To the busy, 
the active and energetic, sickness alone brings the first 
solemn pause in life, when they must think soberly of 
other things than markets, and money, and the bustle 
of the marts of trade. 

And then, too, comes — for the first time it may be — 
the sense of the frailty of the "clay tenement," upon 
the strength and symmetry of which we have so com- 
placently and so proudly looked. With this feeling 
come, naturally and certainly, the charity which so well 
becomes us for the frailties and faults of others ; sym- 
pathy for their afflictions and sorrows, and good will to 
every son and daughter of Adam. In this new phase 
of earnestness, whatever of imperfection we have seen 


in the institutions of our blessed religion, all vanishes in 
the light of its greater excellencies. Our bigotry and our 
prejudices melt as the morning frost ; and if there were 
a lurking feeling of enmity or revenge lurking in the 
heart, ! how does it melt away before the deeper feel- 
ing of gratitude and love ! 

It is in the chamber of sickness, too, that the man 
hitherto skeptical as to the good will of his fellow-men 
meets with that genuine, disinterested kindness, and the 
thousand little offices of affection which mock all his 
misanthropic theories. A world of hitherto undiscover- 
ed sympathy survives the surrounding desolation of 
"total depravity," like the moss on the fountain's edge 
in the depth of winter. 

It is a test, too — that same sick chamber. It has 
a voice to which no man ever yet failed to give heed. 
His energies, whatever they may be, must there be as- 
sayed. The mute, but quick and earnest look of in- 
quiry with which the sick man would fain read his 
probable fate in the looks of the attending physician, 
is of itself enough to betray the otherwise secret feel- 
ing of intense interest with which he watches the vary- 
ing symptoms. In this man you behold a calm, 
noble, fearless spirit, not afraid to meet the Great 
Source which it, in some degree, resembles. In that, 
the nervous shrinking from the very thought of death. 
There is something sublime in the quiet gathering of 
the energies of a mighty spirit for the last grapple 
with the grim messenger. 

For myself, my chief anxiety as to the close of life 
is in regard to the nature of the disease which will pro- 
bably terminate it. Though it has attacked me very 
seldom, I have long had — perhaps most persons have a 

32 nag's head. 

similar feeling — a presentiment that sooner or later its 
agonies will call for my stoutest energies, and master 
them. I have seen at sea, in a man-of-war, victim after 
victim held ruthlessly and helplessly in its iron grapple 
for days and weeks; and then the jack was thrown over 
them, and the hammock, with shot enclosed, sewn tightly 
around them. 

The shrill pipe and hoarse voice of the boatswain and 
his mates called that most solemn of all their calls, 
"All hands! bury the dead!" The burial-service 
was read; there was one dull plash, and the tall ship 
filled away on her course, leaving my comrade " fathoms 
deep" in his ocean grave. 

Good reader, 

" So live 
That, when thy summons come," 

thou mayst go to thy resting-place 

" Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." 



My little attic, in which I am only separated from 
"the seasons' difference" by the shingles and weather- 
boarding, makes me more observant than I have ever 


been before of the phases of the weather. Not a sigh 
of the wind; no 

"Low lispings of the summer rain;" 

no rustle in the small leaves of the live-oak shrubbery 
by which the house is surrounded, can escape my ear. 
From the infancy of the rain, when its first tiny foot- 
falls patter so softly and musically upon the roof, to the 
clattering of the shower and the pelting of the storm — 
I hear it all, and thank Heaven that I am at Nag's 

At times, there are furious storms from seaward. If 
they come on gradually, you cannot see the live-long 
day a single sail. You hear, at first, a dull, heavy, 
monotonous roar of the breakers. A dense mass of 
clouds gathers low in the eastern horizon, and — just at 
nightfall it may be — comes the first ominous pattering 
of the rain. The wind rises gradually and drives the big 
drops furiously against the house. Darkness, as a pall, 
settles down on earth and sea; the shutters creak and 
slam; the wind howls and whistles, and anon, through 
every accessible nook and cranny, comes the rain. 

And then ! in all the fanciful but unpoetic and prac- 
tical varieties of night-habiliments, with small attention 
to attitude and the arrangement of drapery, do half- 
wakened sleepers look for a moment upon the watery 
intrusion. I say for a moment; for straightway there 
begins such a commotion as has not been since the build- 
ing of Babel. Carpets are taken up; clothes are taken 
down ; beds are moved ; crevices are caulked, and 
every possible defence made that ingenuity can devise 
against the common enemy. 

34 nag's head. 

In these storms, the wind varies in its direction; some- 
times a point or two, sometimes — after a brief lull — 
coming from the point opposite to that at which it began. 
Sometimes there seems to be a "coalition" among the 
winds, as if Old iEolus had given them reins: — 

"Velut agmine facto, 

Qua data porta, ruunt, et terras turbine perflant: 
Incubuere mari, totumque a sedibus imis. 
Una Eurusque, Notusque ruunt, creberque procellis 
Africus, et vastos volount ad littora fluctus." 

When I entered the breakfast-room this morning, the 
storm, which had been raging violently during the night, 
seemed unabated. The rain was driving through every 

nook and cranny of the weather-boarding. Dr. M 

suggested the propriety of holding an umbrella over the 
kitchen chimney, by way of increasing the chances of 
a hot breakfast, and the remoter possibility of dinner. 

Mrs. W- was superintending the putting up of a 

small stove. The sofa was wheeled out from the wall, 
and a little tub behind it was receiving the drops of 
water that were coming plentifully down from an upper 
window. It was very manifest, from its general appear- 
ance, that it had not escaped the general calamity of 
the past night. 

The children were seated, singly or in little groups, 
learning their morning lessons. The boy Bill stood in 
the doorway of the kitchen, looking out with a discon- 
solate and abstracted air upon the dismal scene. Down 
came the rain in white spray-like sheets, and driving 
with a furious clatter against the window-panes. The 
wind was whistling, too, and a rickety old shutter thumped 
with a most doleful and monotonous dullness against the 


What a night must it have been for the poor sailor ! 
Four long hours, nay, perhaps the live-long night, ex- 
posed to the fury of the storm ; obtaining a partial 
shelter under the lee of the weather bulwarks ; stand- 
ing patiently and silently at the wheel, his eyes almost 
sightless from gazing so long at the dimly-lighted and 
unsteady compass ; the rain dripping from his stiff 
sou'wester, and blown fiercely in his face — these are 
some of his hardships. Perhaps he was aloft, the ves- 
sel tossing and pitching so as to employ all his strength 
at times to cling to the yard ; the heavy, water-soaked 
sail flapping upwards in his face, and defying his efforts 
to "spill" it and pass the gasket. And some of the 
thousands of old Ocean's children may have gone to 
their final home. A ratline has parted, a gasket has 
given way, or the feet may have slipped upon the foot- 
rope ; there are wild cries, almost unheard in the fury 
of the storm, of 

"A man overboard! a plank! a handspike! the hen- 
coop! Lower the boat! No! no! for your lives!" 

A pale face and glaring eyes are revealed to you, in 
the foam beneath the quarter, by a sudden flash of light- 
ning ; a faint cry is heard, and he is gone from your 
sight for ever. 

"0 Night! 

And Storm ! and Darkness ! ye are wondrous strong \" 

But I was describing the scene in the breakfast-room. 
There was a medley of exclamations that will give the 
reader some idea of it. 

"It don't seem to gee!" said Isaac, as he was trying 
to adjust the stove — one of the most troublesome, by 
the by, of household tasks. 

36 nag's head. 

" Law me !" exclaimed E , who had several times 

changed her seat to avoid the rain, " everywhere I go, 
the rain comes down !" 

"It comes faster and faster !" quoth Tom. 

" It's leakin' down where you're sittin' !" said another; 
and John, the baby, was roaring " ma ! ma ! ma !" at 
the top of his stentorian voice. Many a solemn look, 
meanwhile, was directed towards the window, down the 
panes of which the water was running in streams, and 
at a large surface on the weather-boarding, growing 
gradually larger, and threatening an ultimate inunda- 
tion. Neither of the dogs was visible, both having 
crowded to their kennel beneath the piazza, and, to all 
appearance, resolutely determined to sleep out the storm. 

Our beds are yet safe ; but I am told this " isnt a 
patch to what I shall see in September ; not a primin' 
to it /" 

Poor Isaac, a negro who supplies us with fresh fish, 
had just " staked down" his nets last night, when the 
storm came on. He gave us a somewhat graphic ac- 
count of it. 

" I'd just got 'em fixed, ye see," said he, as he finished 
the story, "an' de wind chopped round t' de nor'ard, 
and I begun to think Id better leave!" 




Amoena vireta 

Fortunatorum nemorum, secies que beatas." 

About a stone's throw from the hotel is a little chapeL 
It is a wooden structure, of small pretensions to archi- 
tectural beauty, or outer or inner decoration, yet com- 
modious, neat, comfortable. Like the dwellings around 
it — like almost all of them at least — it is destitute of 
ceiling. The weather-boards, joists, and shutters are 
neatly whitewashed, and the altar has latterly received 
a coating of white paint. This last, to give the praise 
where it is due, was the work of the clergymen who 

officiate there, Rev. Mr. F , of Elizabeth city, and 

Rev. Mr. S , of Hartford. 

Its position is indeed a happy one. It stands pretty 
nearly in the centre of a diminutive forest of live-oak, 
the underwood all growing in primitive freedom and 
luxuriance. You approach it from several directions, 
through paths shaded and overhung by the evergreen 
foliage, and it is not until you are within a very few yards 
of it that you are conscious of its existence. The 
branches of the surrounding trees almost touch its 

Here, in the gray morning, so early as six o'clock, you 
may see mother and daughter, sire and son, quietly ga- 

38 nag's head. 

thering for their morning devotions. As your eye strays 
inquiringly around, while waiting for the late-comers, 
you may see here a lady whose 

" Customary suit of solemn black' 7 

points her out as one of earth's mourners. There you 
discern the pale, attenuated features of some half-re- 
covered invalid. In yet another seat, is a round- 
cheeked boy, or a fair-haired girl, as intent upon the 
liturgy, to all appearance, as was ever Thomas a 
Kempis at his devotions. And, side by side with them, 
is gray-haired age, turning the well-worn prayer-book 
with hands that have lost the steadiness of younger 
days. And then — shall it be confessed ? — you might, 
by sheer accident, catch the glance of a dark eye from 
beneath as dark a hood, and the shadow of an envious 
green veil, dreadfully destructive to the devotional feel- 
ings with which you may have threaded the winding 
dew-bespangled paths to the little chapel. 

I shall not soon forget my first Sabbath at the chapel. 
I had just left my sick chamber. Starting sooner than 
the rest of the family, in order that I might walk slowly, 
I could see the villagers wending their way on foot, or 
in the indispensable cart, towards the place of worship. 
There was no " bell, sending its sober melody across 
the fields," but in all directions, punctually to the hour, 
did they gather to the chapel. Before I reached it, I 
was attacked with some of my recently-departed symp- 
toms ; but, after a few minutes' rest by the wayside, I 
went on and entered. A goodly audience had already 
assembled, and the seats were soon filled. 

There was the usual rustle of silks and flutter of fans, 
and turning of heads ; and, but for the side structure in 


which we were seated, I might quite easily have ima- 
gined myself in Trinity Church in New York. Alas ! 
for the olden days at Nag's Head ! (I shall have more 
to say of them.) Fashion has created her exacting- 
altars, and crowned her gay victims even here. 

I saw the clergyman as he entered. I set him down 
at the first glance for a man of Irish origin, and without 
further ado promised myself a good sermon. If I had 
had any doubts as to his parentage, the " Dearly beloved 
brethren" with which he began dispelled it, and the 
earnest son of Erin " stood confessed." A lady led the 
singing, both chants and hymns, with a clear, rich, 
hearty voice, that seemed to convey her own enthusiasm 
to the whole audience. 

The text was Jonah, iii. 9, and the discourse in re- 
ference to the cholera. Instead of a dry dissertation 
upon repentance and its fruits, the preacher conveyed 
us in imagination to the streets of Nineveh ; pointed us 
to the prophet as he stalked onward among the jeering 
crowd, and bade us hear his husky tones as he cried, 
"Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown !" 
Then followed the description of the consternation of 
king and people, and their repentance. " The morning 
sun," said the preacher, " of that dreaded day rose in 
calmness and beauty over Nineveh, and the uplifted cup 
came not to her trembling lips." 

Then came an appeal to those who were drowning all 
sober thoughts in the whirl of pleasure and fashion, a 
brief peroration, and he had done. Seldom had a 
preacher so stirred my deeper impulses. I walked 
quietly through the throng of loiterers at the door, and 
walked homeward. A chilly sensation came over me as 
I walked along. It increased as I went onward, and, 

40 nag's head. 

after a vigorous effort to convince myself to the con- 
trary, I shiveringly tottered up the stairs and lay down 
upon my bed, with a very decided impression that I had 
" a chill." I hope I may be forgiven for a momentary 
feeling of vexation. I had been boasting of my restored 
strength and appetite, and had relaxed very consider- 
ably the strictness of my diet ; and to have a chill steal 
on me so without notice — like a bailiff on an unsus- 
pecting debtor — it was unpleasant ! The fever came, 
of course. But, on the following day, fortified by qui- 
nine, I went to the little school-room, and accomplished — 
how, I hardly know — its round of duties. 

Thus ended the first Sabbath on which I had been 
able to go to the little chapel. I have often been there 
since, and always with regret that I have so seldom 
sought its silence and its soothing influences in the still 
air of the early day. There is something in the hour 
that has always commended itself to the devout, as the 
most favorable in the day for the communion which 
every heart seeks (no matter what its professions) with 
the great and good Father of us all. 

" How amiable," saith the Psalmist of Israel, " are 
thy tabernacles, Lord of Hosts !" 




" Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, 
If s7ie inspire, and he approve my lays." 


The residence of a southern planter is a little world 
of itself, combining some of the elements of the old ante- 
diluvian and subsequent phase of government, known as 
the patriarchal. Our household here numbers upwards 
of twenty ; of whom one-third are negroes. We have 
three horses, and two other quadrupeds, to which I 
propose to devote a short chapter ; that is to say, our 
"twa dogs," Hector and Jumper. 

To begin with the latter. He is a dog somewhat be- 
neath the medium size ; larger than that particular spe- 
cies usually called "the tarrier" (lucus, a non lucendo ; 
for not one of them ever tarried five minutes in the 
same place !) and very decidedly smaller than the New- 
foundland or St. Bernard. Jumper's color is a yellow- 
ish-white, approximating to that of cream ; his hair ever 
smooth and sleek, though, it must be confessed, occa- 
sionally the worse for some canine habits very decidedly 

Looking at Jumper, as Lavater would have done (had 
he ever seen him), it is to proper to say that his — 
Jumper's, and not the physiognomist's — characteristic 


42 nag's head. 

expression of countenance is that of all-prevailing, and 
absorbing, and controlling good-nature ; reminding one 
of people who squeeze your hand and look affectionately 
into your inmost eyes at the first dawn of acquaintance ; 
shadowing forth (if so cool a word as " shadowing" be 
here admissible) the noontide devotion of a luminary so 
undisguisedly warm in the gray of its morning. There 
is a glassy, glistening glare of his over-good-natured 
eye that prevents your ever forgetting him when you 
have once seen him. 

I have said that this good-nature of his is his distin- 
guishing trait. I repeat it. It is proof against the most 
direct, and plain, and emphatic, and practical, and — to 
all save himself — unmistakeable hints. Cuffs and kicks, 
to his all-over-shadowing charity, are delicate attentions 
which, for their legitimate and intended purpose, are 
lost upon him. Could he speak, he would very likely 
say (like one of Dr. Lever's characters), of people 
who do not especially kick or thump him — " he never 

said i good morning,' 'by your lave,' 'd n your 

eyes,' or any other civility in life /" 

Jumper's general cream color is relieved by a shading 
of black around his eyes and nose, that contributes very 
materially to the expression of his otherwise inexpres- 
sive countenance. His ears and tail are uncropped ; 
but he has a most unfortunate kink in his back, which 
speaks eloquently of some encounter and " hair-breadth 
'scapes." It gives a very queer, drifting, wriggling, un- 
dignified sort of motion — "abaft the waist," if I may 
borrow a marine phrase — that gradually wrinkles your 
phiz into the quietest grin in life, as you gaze at him. 

It may have been the same oddity of motion, which, 
with other symptoms, induced me to set down his tern- 


perament as nervous-sanguine. He has all imaginable 
sorts of puppyish motions. He is never composed, 
never at rest ; but, like a gawkey who has blundered 
into the atmosphere of high life, and rocks his chair, 
twists his fingers, and plays with his " guard" while he 
talks to you, is ever fawning, wriggling, moving, and 
wagging his tail in the highest conceivable state of ner- 
vous excitabik'ty. He would never do for the city — not 
he. "He don't know the ropes." He has no tact, no 
judgment ; and were he as big as ^sop's ass, would 
just as inconsiderately leap into your lap. 

u Te aint gwoin to jump into my lap, anyhow!' 9 
said Old Titia to him, one day, in my hearing ; "tearin 1 
me all to pieces /" 

Thus he gets kicks, cuffs, and scolding on every hand. 
Always in the way, always victimized, always good-na- 
tured. Old Hector is very evidently disgusted with him, 
and avoids anything like intimacy. His dignity, how- 
ever — as will be readily supposed — is lost on the incor- 
rigible good-nature of his inexperienced young friend. 

Another trait of character in poor Jumper is his utter 
indecision and want of proper confidence in himself. 
He lacks independence. He is over-lavish of his good 
offices and courtesies. The reader will find my idea 
better expressed in the Hunchback, where, on Clifford's 
loss of fortune, Modus and Helen berate him to Julia, 
as giving bows " fifty for one ; and that begrudged." 
On old Hector, 

"Magnanimous Hector/' 

he is ever fawning. His sapient look, his years, his 
gravity have manifestly inspired Jumper with the 

44 nag's head. 

" most distinguished consideration," the profoundest 
respect. His jokes are all evidently relished, all pass 
current with his young Boswell. But Hector evidently 
amuses himself with his "fidus Achates," and looks 
with undisguised merriment on the slatternly and nerve- 
less way in which Jumper drags his toes in the sand in 
his most excited and vigorous trot. 

I cannot close this chapter without a very brief notice 
of the elder of " the twa dogs." And it is here neces- 
sary to state that " Hector" is only a norm de guerre ; 
the name being used here in deference to a feeling 
of delicacy on his part in having his name seen in 
print ! 

His personal appearance is not over prepossessing; 
his form not being of very nice proportions, and his 
color of no prevailing peculiarity ; spots of black and 
white very equally dividing the empire. He is elderly, 
knows the ropes, has a sober good-humored twinkle, in 
his grayish eye that wins your regard. He has been, 
it must be confessed, somewhat supercilious towards his 
young friend ; but then that may be pardoned when 
one thinks of the utter want of congeniality between 
the two. He has not been seen here for some days, 
and I am credibly informed that he has left bed and 
board here, and gone to the hotel, or its vicinity. The 
ostensible reason is a penchant for an elderly woman 
who was kind to him in his younger days. Some have 
insinuated the proximity of the butcher shop, but to 
this I give no credit, the suggestion springing proba- 
bly from private jealousy or malice. 

It is to be hoped that he will return. Better things 
were expected of him, and it is not yet too late to re- 


trieve his suffering reputation. It is yet too soon for 
him to say 

" Sat patriae Priamoque datum."* 



I DO not know whether or not I have yet mentioned 
one of the features of Nag's Head, which a stranger 
would be most likely to remember. It is this; the 
gradual entombing of whole acres of live-oaks and 
pines by the gradual drifting of the restless sands from 
the beach. Not a more melancholy sight in the world. 
In a morning's walk, you may pass hundreds of enor- 
mous oaks, the topmost branches barely visible above 
the surface, while their roots may be scores of feet be- 
neath the surface, strangled by the merciless sands. 
Here and there you may see a victim around whose 
highest branches a vine has entwined itself, green and 
beautiful still, while the tree on which it leans is dead; 
just as you have seen a devoted wife, familiar once with 
the glitter of prosperity, clinging yet closer (and there- 
fore the more beautiful) to the husband whom she has 

* The reader may care enough for his fate to read this record 
of the fact, that he departed this life somewhat out of the custom- 
ary decline and termination of canine old age. Even Jumper 
himself has recently come home with a broad, deep gash, fright- 
fully near the arteries in his throat. 

46 nag's head. 

promised life-long love and fidelity. There is one of 
these not far from the house, to which I often walk in 
the gray of the morning. It is surrounded by others 
as large as itself, and by some that are still larger. Its 
companions are destitute of any appearance of verdure. 
Indeed, they must have been dead these many years. 
They may be some fifteen feet in height above the en- 
gulfing sand. The limbs of one of them are out- 
stretched like huge arms, as if the brave old tree had 
died in its last mute, yet eloquent act of supplication to 
be spared from so horrible a death. And there it stands 
in the self-same imploring attitude still. Suns rise and 
set ; storm and calm succeed each other ; seasons whirl 
away the chaff of winnowed time; the young and the 
old come here and look upon it, and depart, yet there it 

"As stricken into stone." 

Near this is the tree of which I first made mention. 
There is still less of it visible than of the other. It is 
dead, like its companions ; but over its top, in many a 
graceful wreath, a beautiful vine has thrown its thou- 
sand tendrils. Its green leaves are the only vestige of 
life in an area of scores of acres. As I have already 
said, I often go there of a morning. A morsel of le- 
gendary lore may possibly endear it to others as it has 
to me. 


The " season" at Nag's Head, in the summer of 184-, 
was a gay one. The spring and summer had been un- 
healthy, and, early in July, family after family packed 
up the necessary household conveniences, got on board 


the little packets, and were speedily domiciled at their 
respective homes on the sea-side. The hotel was throng- 
ed. Scores of children and youth, whole regiments of 
young ladies and young gentlemen came thronging on, 
until the worthy innkeeper stood aghast. However, by 
dint of close stowage, and other expedients not necessary 
herein to be set forth, all had a place whereon to lay their 
heads. As a matter of course, among such a throng, 
there was no lack of amusements. The mornings were 
spent at the bowling-alley, in fishing, or fox-hunting. 
The dinner and the siesta occupied the afternoon ; and 
tea and the toilet occupied the time until a venerable 
negro, after a few preliminary turns of the screws, gave 
forth the startling, thrilling, life-awakening notes of 
his favorite violin. Presto! change! 

In came the dancers, the sets were made up, and, 
with a tone such as new-created sheriffs shout "0 yes!" 
"0 yes!" at the sessions of the most worshipful the 
Court of Common Pleas, the sable musician exclaimed 
balance all ! and the evening's amusements were be- 
gun. And then not very brightly did the pendent lan- 
terns shine 

" o'er fair women and brave men. 

A thousand hearts beat happily ; and "when 

Music arose with its voluptuous swell, 
Soft eyes looked love to eyes that spake again, 

And all went merry as a marriage bell." 

Among the sojourners at the hotel was a young man 
of gentleman-like appearance, whose little interest in 
the gayeties of the place attracted general attention. 
True, he would now and then enter the saloon to look at 
the dancers, especially on those evenings when the hall 
was at the disposal of the children, though he never 

48 nag's head. 

danced himself. Grave as lie was, and he was so even 
to melancholy, when you could win a smile from him 
there was never a sweeter one. Occasionally he would 
chat with one of the very few acquaintances he seemed 
to have made, and such was his power of thought and 
felicity of expression that it is no exaggeration to say 

" The list'ner held his breath to hear." 

He had a fine voice, too ; and it was more perilous 
than he seemed to suspect for some of the fair dancers 
to observe its musical cadence. 

It was observed that he was much addicted to long 
and solitary walks; and a young man who had the cu- 
riosity to follow him, discovered that he usually went to 
the vine-covered oak of which I have spoken. A friend 
with whom he became more intimate than with any one 
else, informs me that he gave the following account of 
his melancholy moods, and his seclusion from the gaye- 
ties of life. 

I am an orphan. I was adopted, when a mere lad, by 

Dr. , of Washington City. He is one of the best 

of men, as you know that he is one of the best of phy- 
sicians. I could not possibly have loved a father more 
than I ever loved him. God forgive me for ever leaving 
him ! He lives there still. You may see him any day 
on Pennsylvania Avenue — that noblest of all American 
avenues — riding or walking along at a brisk pace, with 
a kindly smile on his face, and a nod for everybody. 
He is universally beloved, for he is ever kind, and 
noble, and generous. He makes no parade of his cha- 
rities ; he is not 


" One of your ten and twenty pound subscribers, 
Your benefactors in the newspapers," 

"Who keep 

" A running charity account with Heaven ;" 

but many a poor heart has been gladdened by his un- 
ostentatious benevolence. God bless the good old man ! 
All my recollections of him are happy. They have been 
— they shallbe — my salvation. I have been a prodigal. 
I have fed upon the beggarly husks of " the far coun- 

Dr. is, of all the physicians I have ever known, 

the most studious and indefatigable. When retained in 
a case — to use a legal phrase — he is untiring in his 
researches in the books, in his personal attentions, in 
the study of the particular symptoms of the disease, 
the temperament, habits, and condition in life of the 
patient. Perhaps no living physician was ever so suc- 
cessful in his combination of simples to meet peculiar 
symptoms. And yet, absorbed as he invariably was in 
some one or more of the many cases which came throng- 
ing upon him, he never lost sight of the claims of so- 
ciety and the domestic circle. No child more simple ; 
and he was never more happy than when surrounded by 
children. There was no air of bustle, of importance, 
of dignity ; there was no fuss ; there was no formida- 
ble barrier of cautious reserve to break through. The 
light of his genial smile converted everything into some 
likeness to its own benignity ; just as the sun makes the 
darkest substances even give back as well as enjoy his 

What wonder that I loved him! What wonder that 
I hung upon his footsteps as if I were his shadow, and 
followed him into every street, and lane, and alley of 

50 nag's head. 

the city! Trust me, there are few pages that so in- 
itiate the tyro into the Eleusinia of life as those which a 
medical practice opens to him in the heart of a great 
city. And with him ! You could not see him thus en- 
gaged in his labors without feeling a desire to do better, 
to be better ; and love and reverence for him went ever 
hand in hand. 

It was my delight to nestle in a huge leather-backed 
arm-chair in his office, and to watch him while he was 
investigating a case. Sometimes I lounged upon the 
sofa, and very generally fell asleep on it at a late hour 
of the night, leaving him still absorbed in his books. 

One of these evenings I can never forget. It was, I 
well remember, during the harvest moon, well nigh a 
year ago. Never have I seen a finer evening. There 
was not a cloud in all the heavens. The moon was at 
the full, and the stars shone with more than their wonted 
brilliancy; glittering, gorgeous — one mighty sea of 
light and beauty. I could hear from the avenue — for 
the office was on the street — the hum of voices, and the 
pattering and shuffling of many feet; and I caught 
now and then a strain of delicious music from the win- 
dows of Carusi's. 

Small attractions these for the doctor, though he was 
one of the devoutest of Nature's worshipers. He had 
apparently a new case, for I saw him take down book 
after book, and some of the oldest and mustiest, as if 
he had met with some phase of disease of a very un- 
usual character. 

" Um !" he would exclaim occasionally. " Yes, that 
looks a little like it!" 

And then he would lean his head upon his hand, as if 
buried in thought, and muttering 


"No! no! that won't do!" 

He would take down another book. 

"Fred, my boy, you'd better go to bed. I shan't be 
ready to retire for a long while yet." 

And, without looking to see whether I went or not, he 
resumed his labor. My curiosity was now aroused, and 
I resolved to keep awake and observe him. The hours 
wore slowly away, and midnight came. He started sud- 
denly as the clock struck. The watchman was passing. 

"T-w-e-1-v-e o'clock, an' all's well!'" drawled that 
drowsy functionary. 

"No, my good man, all's not well!" and he pulled 
the bell furiously. Black Scip made his appearance. 



" You know where Mrs. A lives, on street?" 

"Yes, massa." 

" Well, go round there and see how Miss Mary is, 
and tell the nurse I'll be there in an hour." 

" Yes, massa." 

The old doctor now closed his books, and leaned his 
head thoughtfully upon his hand, remaining so long in 
perfect silence that I began to think he must be asleep. 
All at once, however, he started ; lifted his glasses over 
his lofty forehead, paused a moment, and then sprang 
up from his chair. 

"By the Olympian Jove!" exclaimed he, in a low, 
but exulting tone, " I have it. Eureka! She shall 
live. I shall SAVE her !" And, with a school-boy spring 
of irrepressible joy, he upset a pyramid of books, with 
the chair and the inkstand, seized his cane, and hurried 
out of the office. He had got into the street, bare- 
headed, when old Scip, who had just returned, reminded 

52 nag's head. 

him that he had forgotten his hat. He returned, and 
-when he again left the office, I gave a wink to old Scip, 
and followed him. He strode furiously on along the 
avenue — and " the avenue" in Washington, you know, 

means Pennsylvania Avenue — as far as street. 

There, at the corner, he came full tilt in contact with 
a plethoric watchman, who was ahout to consign him to 
"everlasting redemption" and the watch-house, when 
the doctor gave his name. A few doors farther, and 
he sprang lightly up the marble steps of a noble dwell- 
ing. I followed him. Before going to the chamber, he 
stopped a moment in the hall, and sent the servant, who 
met him at the door, with a message to the nurse. 
While the negro was gone, I slipped in unperceived ; 
and when the doctor ascended the stairs, I contrived to 
follow him without attracting the notice of the servant. 
Fortunately for me, he left the door of the sick room 
ajar. He approached the bed-side with his usual quiet, 
noiseless step, and taking a small, fair, attenuated hand 
in his own, applied his finger to the wrist. 

"So, Molly, getting better, eh? Keep up good cou- 
rage, my dear. We'll have you at Carusi's in a week!" 

There, reposing upon an embankment of pillows, lay 
a fair girl. She could not have been more than seven- 
teen at most. Her hair had escaped from restraint and 
lay in masses upon the pillow, throwing the pale, beau- 
tiful face into full relief. The nurse stood near with 
clasped hands, watching the doctor's eye as if to divine 
the fate of the patient. And then, as if she knew not 
what else to do, she would re-arrange the vials and cups 
upon the stand, with a care-worn, weary expression that 
made my heart bleed for her. 

"There, Molly," said the doctor, "there's a prescrip- 


tion I've put up myself; something unusual for me: but 
I wouldn't trust anybody else to put it up for you. 
There — not a word now!" seeing her about to speak. 
"Goodnight, my dear Molly ! you'll be better to-morrow, 
my word for it. God bless you !" And, bending over 
her, he kissed her pale forehead. I made a precipitate 
retreat, and got home in time to be snugly in bed when 
he came. 

She was saved! You are aware how intimate becomes 
the relation between the medical adviser and the family 
whom his skill has laid under such obligations. The 
intimacy extended to my mother and sisters, and I need 

scarcely tell you the result. Mary A became the 

centre of every hope, and thought, and purpose; and 
I was not long in making the fact known to her. Nor 
were her parents slow to make a similar discovery, 
though I had been pluming myself on my skill in pre- 
serving the secret from all the world. 

Mr. A called me into his library one day, and 

very quietly said to me that he had for some time been 
aware of my feelings towards his daughter. 

"The d 1 you have!" exclaimed I, utterly thrown 

off my guard. The expression offended him; and he 
continued, in a more haughty tone — 

"You are aware, sir, that you are too young to think 
of marriage, even were you in professional life, in pros- 
perous business, in the way of political preferment, or 
in such pecuniary circumstances as would justify your 
taking that very important, I may say the most import- 
ant, step in life. Be assured, however," said he, perceiv- 
ing how terribly the blow fell upon me, "that lam dis- 
posed to be your friend, and to aid you in any way which 
you will point out." 


54 nag's head. 

Fool that I was, I answered him tartly, was bowed 
with icy courtesy out of the room, and rushed into the 
street in a state little better than sheer madness. 
Until the gray of the morning did I pace my little 
chamber, in a paroxysm of passion. I threw myself 
exhausted upon my bed, and slept until noon. To the 
inquiries of my father if I were sick, and what ailed 
me, I made some blundering reply that failed to satisfy 
him. He left me, however; and I employed the after- 
noon in writing a score of notes to Mary, and burning 
as many. I dressed with unusual care, and as the clock 
struck eight, I left my chamber and directed my steps 
to street. 

"Is Mary at home?" said I to the porter. 

"No, massa; Miss Ma'y ben guoin away." 


"Don't know, massa. She ben guoin airly dis morn- 
in'; way down Virginny somewhere. Guoin to school, 
I b'lieve." 

Semel insanavimus omnes; and I am no exception to 
the rule. I went stealthily to my chamber, took what 
little money I had, packed some of my best clothes, and 
books, and other articles, and, going to an old Shylock 
of a pawnbroker (whom may the gods reward!) sold 
them all to him for the paltry sum of ten dollars ! Of 
this beggarly sum even, he managed to rob me partially 
by giving me English sovereigns instead of half-eagles. 
But I was not to be turned from my purpose by trifles. 
I went to a slop-shop, bought me a fustian jacket, trow- 
sers of the same, and a tarpaulin; and as the day broke 
next morning, I stole out quietly, and took the road for 
Baltimore. In the cars I should have been recognized, 


and I therefore resolved to go on foot. It was a cool, 
bracing morning, and my step was springy and buoyant 
as I strode onward in a fever of excitement. I heard 

the bell of old McL 's academy, which always rang 

at daybreak ; and its tones, with the associations it 
roused, brought the hot tears to my eyes. 

But I was soon absorbed by new thoughts and impres- 
sions. I was free. From a child I had always been 
impatient of restraint. To kindness I was as sunshine; 
to anything else I was as untamable as the hyena. No 
wonder, then, that I bounded on; that I ran, and leaped, 
instead of walked along; and that I actually shouted 
aloud "I'm free! I'm free!" I trudged stoutly on, 
looking enviously in upon the happy cabins and farm- 
houses, and amusing myself by the Aladdin-like con- 
struction of palaces, which all my subsequent experience 
has been pulling down. 

I began to be weary. The sun poured down his 
scorching rays upon me, and as I began the last four 
leagues of my clay's journey, it seemed to me that I 
must sink down exhausted by the wayside. My thoughts 
turned homeward. Why had I left them all ? the good 
old doctor, my more than mother, and my adopted sis- 
ters? Why had I not gone after Mary, traced her 
from town to town, and won her in spite of them all ? 
I looked down upon my fustian attire; I pulled off my 
tarpaulin; I looked down upon my dust-covered shoes, 
within which my feet were aching in every joint, and, in 
spite of all the stoicism I had resolved upon, I wept long 
and bitterly. I had but a few dollars. What should I 
do ? Work there was, enough of it ; but how was I to 
get it with my girlish frame and hands? 

56 nag's head. 

But I was too proud to turn back. The die was cast. 
I had staked all upon it. I would do wonders, I thought. 
I would come back rich, if not famous, and then Mary 
should be mine. God bless her! She knew that I 
loved her. I knew that I was not less dear to her. 
They had torn her away, and, in the bitterness of that 
hour's unutterable misery, I cursed them for their ruth- 
less cruelty. 

At last I reached Baltimore. It was just at night- 
fall. Little thinking of the change in my appearance, 
I went to one of the best hotels, as I had been accus- 
tomed to do, and was recalled to a very vivid sense of 
my condition by the scarcely disguised look of sur- 
prise, and the meaning smile of the clerk as I asked 
if I could be accommodated there for the night. 

" We Sire full to-night !" said he, after a moment's con- 
ference with another person. I turned on my heel and 

sought humbler quarters. I slept at the Inn, in the 

upper part of the city. There was a motley set, I re- 
member, in the bar-room ; but the greater part were 
teamsters, who had come from the western counties 
with their huge wagons laden with tons of the produce 
of their farms. 

As you may readily imagine, I was not long in finding 
my way to my chamber. It was small, comfortless, 
dirty. Now that I had halted, I felt, far more than 
when I was walking, the overpowering sensation of ex- 
treme fatigue. My feet were sore and swollen, and my 
limbs ached so that I could not sleep. I fell at last 
into a most profound slumber. When I awoke, it was 
day. A drizzling rain was falling, and everything 
around looked chilly, gloomy, and cheerless. I was 
speedily dressed, and having paid my bill, I recommenced 


my journey. It occurred to me, however, that the high- 
way, as soon as I had got beyond the curbstones, would 
be wet and muddy ; and, as I had but little money, I 
resolved to go to the wharves, and procure a passage to 
New York by water. I was sauntering along and looking 
at the vessels, when a voice quite near me accosted me, 
in gruff sailor tones, with 

" Hello, shipmate ! I say ! Don't you want to go 
a-fishin' ?" 

" Go a-fishing ?" echoed I, in some surprise. 

" Yes, go a-fishin'. The skipper '11 give you twenty 
dollars a month. We're goin' to the head of the bay 
to fish for herrin'. If you say you'll go, it's a bar- 

" Well, I'll go." 


"I will." 

And, throwing aside my fustian jacket, I aided him in 
his work. He was discharging a little schooner, of some 
fifty tons, of a load of wood. This we soon accom- 
plished ; and I was not sorry to finish the work, as my 
hands were dreadfully torn by the splinters. There 
were a few lighter jobs during the day. The stores 
were got on board, and at daybreak the next morning 
we got under way. Another schooner, about the size 
of our own, got under way a few minutes later, and 
came bounding along in our wake. I shall never forget 
her skipper ; a fine, manly-looking, sailor-like young 
man — for, as his vessel passed us, he very cooly lifted 
his tarpaulin, and said, with a good-humored smile, 

" Good by ! I'll report you !" 

Burly John Oldham, the same man who accosted me 
on the wharf, was at the helm of our vessel. He took 

58 nag's head. 

an enormous quid of tobacco, fussed, fidgeted, exhausted 
the Palinurian tactics ; but in vain ! Our neighbor left 
us. It came on to blow ; and, as the wind was from the 
northward, it grew bitterly cold. As we could not lay 
our course, we were obliged, of course, to beat. The 
water flew all over her decks, and, shivering with cold, 
I crawled below. Old John Oldham, his face as red as 
England's flag, maintained his position, his gravity, and 
his reputation at the helm. Occasionally, he would give 
his quid a fierce thrust from one cheek to the other as 
some curling breaker sent the spray into his face, and 
gave the tiller a sudden jerk that well nigh upset him. 
Never a word said he, meantime, though the wind was 
increasing to almost a storm ; but his compressed lip 
and glistening eye said, as plainly as words could have 
expressed it, 

" ! it aint no use, old barky ! I've seen salt water 
outside o' the capes, and I aint agoin' to be flustered by 
a little spirt of a nor'wester in this ere little mill-pond. 
The bloody old Chesapeake 's gittin' sort o' riled to- 

Once, I remember, when we were going in stays, the 
schooner wouldn't come into the wind. We wore, and 
in doing so the fore-gaff was nearly carried away. 
What with the swearing and shouting, and the clatter of 
ropes and sails, I had made up my mind to be ship- 
wrecked. The wind abated, however, and having re- 
paired damages, we stood on, and reached our destina- 
tion at nightfall. At daybreak the next morning we 
again got under way, and soon reached the fishing- 
beach. The seine seemed to me at least a mile long. 
I was placed at the windlass, and right lustily did I 
work, until noon, among the brawny fishermen. I sank 


utterly exhausted upon the ground and fell into a pro- 
found sleep. From this I was very speedily awakened, 
and not in the gentlest way in the world, by the summons 
to dinner. This was of fat pork, fried herrings, and 

bread. Utterly unable to work, I begged Mr. B , 

my employer, to release me. After some efforts to per- 
suade me to stay, he consented, and I took passage that 
very evening for the head of the Bay. A short walk the 
next morning brought me to the railroad ; and. following 
it to the next station, I seated myself in the cars. 

It was sunset when we reached Philadelphia. I went 
to a less frequented hotel than the one I first entered in 
Baltimore ; but from that, even, the reception I met with 
was none of the most cordial; and I remember thinking, 
as I walked to the lower part of the city, that a fustian 
suit and a tarpaulin, though well enough under some 
circumstances, were not the best possible recommenda- 
tions at a fashionable hotel. I entered a plain, old- 
looking tavern not far from the wharves. There were 
half a score of shabby-looking loungers gathered round 
a coal-fire, in a dilapidated grate, which sent forth one 
of the most villainous of odors — 

" A very ancient and a fisk-like smell/' 

of which I would be very sorry to have Pictou or Penn- 
sylvania own the paternity. 

The landlady, an Irishwoman, fastened her large elo- 
quent eyes upon me as I entered, and looked closely, 
though gently and kindly into mine, as I asked if I 
could lodge there for the night. 

"Ye can do that same," was the reply. "Bring a 
chair, Pat, ye thaif o' the world ! don't ye see the lad's 

60 nag's head. 

fatigued intirely ? Ye'll be the better for a thrifle to 
ate, I'm thinkin," added she, addressing me. 

I had determined to go without supper, for m y money 
had dwindled away to a single shilling. 

" No, I thank you, madam," said I ; " I am very tired, 
and would like to go to bed." 

"Och! bother! niver expect me to listen till that! 
Ye're hungry, lad, forby bein' tired ; and it's not far 
ye'll be from bein' sick this blessed minnit. Ate some- 
thing, man ; its free till ye ; an' to bed ye'll not go 
without supper in the house o' Margaret McGuire!" 

With a silent invocation of Heaven's best blessings 
on the warm-hearted hostess, I seated myself at the 
table; she, meanwhile, continued to talk as I made 
my simple repast. 

" It's not in the like o' this you're used to ate, I'm 
thinkin," said she; and, without appearing to notice 
my embarrassment, she added, 

" I've a lad o' my own, as old as yersel' maybe. 
He's gone to say. Ochone ! bad luck till the day he 
wint ! He's wid strangers, maybe, like you ; and I 
wouldn't slape av I thought any one in a furrin coun- 
thry 'ud let him go till his bed without atin' a mouthful 
of parathies, or a dish of bread and milk, av there was 
no betther to be had." 

I strolled out after supper, and whiled away a half 
hour in looking into the shops. As I turned away to 
go to the hotel (if I may so dignify it), I bethought me 
of a gentleman whose acquaintance I had made a year 
before, and who was then a boarder at the Marshall 
House. I went to the hotel. The porter who an- 
swered my timid ring replied to my inquiry for 
Mr. . 


"I b'lieve de gemman not in. I'll see, though," add- 
ed he, as he saw my earnest look ; "jis wait a minnit." 

He returned with the intelligence that Mr. M 

was at home. I followed him to the chamber. 

"Dis am Massa M 's room." 

The breeding of the gentlemanlike M was not 

proof against the change in my personal appearance ; 
but the startled look of wonderment faded into a far 
graver expression, and this last was followed by one of 
his usual welcome smiles. I frankly told him all. At 
first he remonstrated. 

" Take off this," said he, touching my fustian jacket. 
" In an hour's time I'll have you in proper trim. I can 
furnish you the money to return, and a line from me 
to the doctor will set all right." 

To all he could say, I replied that I had made my 
choice, and must go. 

"At least," said he, "let me get you a berth and 
your outfit;" and to this, after some debate, I consent- 
ed. It so happened that there was no voyage that pre- 
cisely suited me. There was, however, a Boston mer- 
chant then in the city, a friend of Mr. 's, who was 

one of the owners of the good ship C , then bound 

to Valparaiso and a market. In reply to the inquiries 

of my friend M , he said he had no doubt but 

that I could get a berth in her, and that if I chose I 
might bear him company, as he would leave the city in 

the afternoon. M wrung my hand, as I bade him 


" Perhaps it's best, after all, Fred," said he. "Write 
to me, and be sure you so conduct yourself as to be 
able to write me a good account of what you have done. 

62 nag's head. 

Be away a year or so, and then come back ; study medi- 
cine, and marry Mary A in spite of them all!" 

I attempted to say something in reply, but my emo- 
tions overpowered me, and with a choking sensation in 
my throat, which prevented all utterance, I pressed his 
hand in both of mine, and hurried away. 

It was at daybreak on the second morning after I 
left Philadelphia that we arrived at Boston. The 
market-wagons, milk-carts, and bread-carts were begin- 
ning to rattle over the pavements as we entered the city. 
There were stirring, too, some few of those desperate 
early risers, martyr-like health-seekers, muffled to the 
chin, and looking fiercely out from the entrenchments 
of furs and flannels, in which their faces were defen- 
sively posted, upon the fog and the gray sky, as they 
strode around the Common. 

By the advice of my companion, I went to the Mari- 
ner's House, where, by the by, I found, for the few days 
I was there, comfortable quarters, and the kindest of 
treatment. About a week after my arrival, I signed 

"the articles," as "a green hand" on board the C , 

at eight dollars a month. " w T hat a fall was there' 
to my dreams of a fortune ! It was too late, however, 
to recede. 

The next morning we hauled out in the stream, and 
the following day we got our anchor at daybreak, and 
made sail. The wind hauled to the eastward as we came 
up with Cape Cod. Bearing away, we ran through 
"The Swash of the Horseshoe," and stood on through 
the Vineyard Sound. At five in the afternoon, the land 
grew dim, and I breathed my silent adieu to my native 
land. The wind freshened, hauling a little to the 
northward ; and, as they say at sea, it began to get 


rough. With several others I made my way, with an 
overpowering feeling of nausea and dizziness, to the lee 
scuppers, and paid the first bitter tribute to Old Nep- 
tune. I remember — faintly as if it were a dream — 
that I crawled wearily below into the dark, filthy, fore- 
castle, and managed, Jioio I know not, to stretch my 

" On my pallet of straw." 

It happened, for some reason, that I had not had an 
anchor watch while we were lying in port, and I had for- 
gotten, if I had' ever known, that a very material por- 
tion of a sailor's work was to be done in the night. 
Judge, then, of my amazement — my utter consterna- 
tion — when with three blows of a handspike upon the 
deck just above my head, and a voice which could have 
scarcely been more terrible to me had it been "the last 
trump," the mate shouted 

"All star-bowlines ahoy — y — y ! Twelve o'clock, 
bullies! Tumble up here ! D'ye hear?" 

" Ay, ay !" growled some drowsy old salt ; and, after 
some delay and no little hard swearing, a light was 
struck, and the watch turned out. Sick as I was — and 
I cared little whether I lived or died — I went on deck. 
"Olympian Jove !" exclaimed I, as I reached the scut- 
tle. The darkness was as rayless as that of the land 
of Nile. I groped my way staggering, and occa- 
sionally falling headlong, to the weather-rail, and there, 
shivering under the bulwarks, wet with the spray, sick, 
exhausted, I remained during the long, cheerless four 
hours of my first night-watch at sea. I have since known 
something of hardships, have ridden out many a gale, 

64 nag's head. 

but never afterwards, in my recollection, was I so glad 
to hear the welcome words, 

"Eight bells! call the watch!" and, a few minutes 

" Go below, the watch V 

I will not tire you with the details of our outward 
passage. Suffice it to say that I was not long in get- 
ting my sea-legs on ; that I took my tuck at the wheel 
the second day out, and that I learned " the ropes" 
sooner than any other green hand on board. We had 
a terrific storm off the mouth of the river La Plata, and 
some snow-squalls off the Cape ; but, on the whole, we 
had a pleasant passage — one hundred and twenty days 
to Valparaiso. 

One of our men-o'-war entered the harbor just ahead 
of us. I can give you little idea of the joy one feels, 
after a long passage, on seeing the stars and stripes in 
a foreign port. It tells you of home ; and it wakes a 
host of thoughts and feelings that send your blood shi- 
vering along your arteries with ungovernable excite- 
ment. What, then, think you, were my feelings as the 
sloop ahead of us came-to just under the stern of the 

frigate S , at whose peak our beautiful ensign was 

floating lazily in the breeze, and the frigate's band 
struck the notes of "The Star-Spangled Banner?" I 
wept like a school-boy, and was glad to be able to con- 
ceal my tears by leaning over the rail. 

It was dark when we had got everything snug for the 
night. The moon rose over the crescent city ; the 
lights glistened from the hillsides, and the songs of the 
fishermen came to our ears mingled with the mellow 
tones of the evening bells. I went below. 


It chanced to be my anchor-watch from eleven to 
twelve. I was called at eleven, and had been on deck 
but a few minutes when I heard the sound of oars. The 
sound grew more distinct, and the long, slow, measured 
stroke assured me that it belonged to a man-o'-war. It 
hove in sight. 

Suddenly the men lay upon their oars, and a strain 
of music, the softest, richest, as I then thought, I had 
ever heard, 

" Nighest bordering on heaven," 

came over the motionless waters of the bay. The water 
was glistening like a silver sea ; its mirror-like surface 
being broken only by the cutter, as she glided silently 

under the stern of the S . It was the band of the 

English frigate, with her officers. The officers of the 

S came on deck, and her quarter-rail and taffrail 

were soon lined with glistening uniforms. 

" Thank you ! thank you !" shouted a manly voice 
among the American officers ; but it was unheard in 
the music of the band, and the boat glided away as 
noiselessly as she had come, the notes of one of the Ells- 
ler dances sending a thrill of delicious pleasure to every 

We soon discharged the C , and stood along the 

coast to several ports (Cognimbo and Arica among 
others), and in about three months had stowed her with 
copper (in pigs), hides, Nicaragua wood and wool, 
together with some tons of saltpetre, and returned to 
Valparaiso. Never shall I forget the morning that we 
got our anchor. It was at the dawn of day, and a light 
breeze was blowing off the land. 

Tom Gomer, or the Doctor, as we familiarly called 

66 nag's head. 

him (always the cook's soubriquet at sea), went to the 
windlass with us, and began the heart-stirring air of 

" Time for us to go, my bullies !" 

as we shipped the brakes of the windlass. 

" Time for us to go \" 

was the roisterly chorus ; and the hot tears came in tor- 
rents over the stiff wrinkles of many a weather-beaten 
face, as we " walked the anchor to the bows," and 
whispered exultingly to each other " Homeward hound, 
homeward bound !" The words recall to me the deli- 
rious excitement of that calm, beautiful morning : the 
rippled waters of the bay ; the silent city ; the drum-beat 
on board the men-o'-war, succeeded by the hoarse call of 
the boatswain's mates, " A-l-1 hands !" the blue heights 
of the Andes in the distance, and the roar of the surf 
upon the rocks that lie at the entrance of the harbor. 
The mate called for the fall and the fish-davit, and the 
anchor came to the cat-head and upon the rail, to the 
air of " Cheerily men !" as if it had been for its weight 
a nursery toy. 

It was on a glorious morning in June that the watch 
below, myself among them, were startled by the loud 
cry of "Light, ! Sail, !" in quick succession. We 
were among the mackerel-smacks ; and it was not long 
ere some one shouted from the foretopmast cross-trees, 

"Where away?" shouted the old man (nautice', for 
the captain), as he came to a sudden halt on the poop- 

" Right ahead, sir ! the Capes in plain sight !" 

It fell calm, however, and it was late in the afternoon 
when we passed the sand-hills of Cape Cod. The breeze 


then freshened ; and, when a few leagues from Boston 
Light, a pilot-boat darted like a dolphin under our lee 
and hailed us. 

"Want a pilot?" 

" Yes." 

" Lay your maintopsail to the mast, and I'll board you.'' 

The wind again became " baffling." Night came on. 
Boston light beamed in its benignant beauty upon the 
sea, and at eleven o'clock we let go the anchor abreast 
of Spectacle Island. The live-long night did I pace 
the deck in a fever of excitement. The fragrance of 
the fields and orchards came off to us with the fresh air 
of the morning, and the day dawned in beauty. As the 
sun rose, we got under way, and at nine o'clock we were 
along side of Lewis' wharf, sails unbent — the runners 
aboard, and the derrick up ready for discharging. 

Without waiting to doff my sailor attire, I took the 
cars that evening for Fall River, where I got on board 
the " Bay State," and at sunrise next morning I was in 
New York. It had been my intention to go home 
dressed as a sailor, in order to give the doctor a sur- 
prise. I thought of Mary, however ; and, remaining two 
days in New York, I dressed with scrupulous care, and 
then set out for Washington. 

It was already dark when I reached the city. There 
was the usual throng upon the avenue, as I walked 
rapidly along, valise in hand, towards home. When 
within a few steps of the door, I was very roughly jos- 
tled by some one going in the opposite direction, as 
much in a hurry, apparently, as myself. 

" Howly mother o' Moses !" exclaimed a harsh femi- 
nine voice. " Tin thousan' pardons, sir ; but could ye 
inform me where's Docther — 's office ?" 

68 nag's head. 

" Yes, I am going there." 

" Well, thin, make haste honey, for the loye of the 
Holy Yargin , for she's dyin' !" 

" Who is dying ?" 

" Why, Mary A , to he shure, that's sick since 

this day twelvemonth." 

The office door was open. Throwing my valise into 
the hall, I motioned to a hackman. 

" Drive me to Mrs. A 's, on street. Quick ! 

here's a dollar for you." 

The coach thundered along the avenue, turned into 

street, and stopped. The door opened, the steps 

rattled, and I sprang upon the sidewalk. Without 
stopping to question the servant who answered my ring, 
I rushed past him up the stairs to the room where I bad 
last seen Mary A . In an instant, I was at the bed- 
side. A smile lighted up the thin wasted features — 

" A smile of the old sweetness — " 

as she placed her hand in mine ; a crimson flush over- 
spread her cheek for an instant ; then there was a faint 
pressure from the frail fingers that lay in mine ; then 
a gasp — and Mary A was dead ! 

What followed I know not. When I recovered my 
reason, Dr. was by my bedside ; and on a light- 
stand near him was a goodly array of cups and phials. 
A tear was glistening in his eye as he caught the glance 
of mine, and, clasping his hands as he looked upward, 
he exclaimed, in his low, earnest tones, "Thank God!" 

" Not a word, my boy," he added; " not a word now. 
You'll be stronger, soon. Keep perfectly quiet, and 
you'll soon be well." 

My recovery was slow. To banish as far as possible 


the sad recollections that thronged upon me, the doctor 
brought me here. He could not remain ; but I have 
friends here, among whom I am glad to reckon your- 
self, and am as happy as I can ever hope to be. 

The night had waned into the " small hours" as the 
stranger finished his story. The dancing in the saloon 
had long been over ; and the hotel, if I may except the 
monotonous twang of a guitar from a distant apartment, 
was quiet. With such expressions of sympathy and re- 
gard as I could command, I bade my friend good-night ; 
and, wading through the sand to the sound shore, I was 
soon at home and in my chamber. In the few remain- 
ing hours of the night, I remember having a medley of 
dreams, in which, on land and sea, I too was a wanderer, 
loved and was loved again, and saw the clods of the 
valley that had closed over the grave of 

" Hopes that were angels in their birth, 
But perished young, like things of earth." 

When I next visited the hotel, the stranger was gone. 
Rumor whispered that a bright-eyed Virginia girl who 
did not often visit the hotel, but chanced one evening 
to leave the " up guoines" for the dancing saloon, had 
very manifestly been of service in dispelling his melan- 
choly, and giving him wiser and more interesting views of 
life. Certain it is that her ring was seen glistening on 
his finger ; that they left in the same packet ; and that 

when Miss Helen got into her father's coach at 

Elizabeth city, it needed no very urgent invitation to 
induce my young friend to accompany them to the old 
family mansion at Barleywood. 

" ! there's nothing half so sweet in life 
As love's young dream I" 

70 nag's head. 



Among the faces that I occasionally see of an even- 
ing, not the least welcome to me is that of Old Jack. 
Mention the name to any one of the hundreds at Nag's 
Head, and not one would mistake your meaning. I re- 
member that while I was confined to my chamber by 
illness, I heard one day tones whose gruffness and 
growling monotony I was sure must belong to some 
" old salt;" for the characteristic is as easily detected 
by one who has been at sea as is the rolling gait or 
any other peculiarity which marks the genuine sailor. 

He was giving to my friend W an account of the 

captain of the packet Fox. He had really nothing to 
say to his disadvantage, but, true to his marine instincts, 
he must of necessity " growl" about something. 

" I don't know," said he (and he would need but a 
very trifling elevation of tone wherewithal to cry a lost 
child on Broadway), " as I is got much to say agin de 
man. He knows de ropes, for sure, an' I'll be boun' 
he didn't creep in at de cabin windows ; but, somehow, 
I likes a man what knows de twenty -f 6' letters oh de 

Jack had heard, from what source I know not, that 
his skipper was deficient in the somewhat common con- 
veniences of a knowledge of reading and writing, and, 


though faithful on board the vessel, he was never tired 
on shore of expressing his contempt for a skipper whose 
scientific attainments were so very limited. 

Mr. W was fond of the rough, honest old sailor, 

possessing, as he did, more intelligence than his breth- 
ren, and evincing sterling qualities, that won for him 
not merely good treatment but hearty regard and re- 
spect. The old sailor was an oracle in all matters per- 
taining to the packets, the navigation of the sound, and 
the history of Nag's Head from its earliest settlement. 

It is known very generally that the coast of North 
Carolina, from Cape Hatteras northward as far as Kill- 
devil Hills, has been noted for a large number of wrecks. 
The light-house near the New Inlet is of comparatively 
recent construction. Before it was erected, scarcely a 
summer passed without one or more wrecks. There are 
some frightful tales yet current of wicked deeds on that 
low sandy coast, of lanterns tied to a horse's head, and 
of windows that looked seaward being illuminated at 
night ; but no doubt many of them are entitled to no 

Certain it is, however, that vessel after vessel came 
ashore, and was pillaged of its freight whenever the ar- 
ticles of which it consisted were of such a character as 
to excite the cupidity of the bankers. The process by 
which it disappeared was somewhat mysterious. 

" You couldn't see," said Old Jack, " anythin' comin' 
out ; dough cley did say dat some people dat went aboard 
as thin as ghosts a'most come ashore lookin' like a 
Baltimore alderman or the sheriff in court-week. Dere 
was de brig Moon, ye know, massa John, an' I don't 
know how many more. Dey do say dat dere is some of 
her cargo 'bout Nag's Head now !" 

72 nag's head. 

The wrecks were a theme whose fertility was never 
exhausted. The gestures, the fun-loving wrinkles at 
the corners of his eyes, the comic mimicry with which 
old Jack illustrated his " yarns," made my friend 

W at all times a ready listener. He had won my 

attention, too, and, when I had recovered my health, I 
was always glad to hear him talk. It so happened, one 
evening, as I was standing under the branches of a 
noble oak, looking down upon the packets as they lay at 
anchor, the surface of the sound glistening in "the pale 
moonlight," and the thousand objects which the moon 
always clothes with beauty, giving additional interest to 
the scene, that old Jack passed near me. I hailed him. 

" Jack." 

" Sah ! your sarvant, maussa !" 

" They tell me, Jack, that you have seen a good many 
wrecks here at Nag's Head." 

"Why yes, maussa, I'se been in dis part ob de 
country a great while." 

"The crews generally escaped, didn't they, Jack?" 

" Not al'ays ! not al'ays, maussa. Dere was de 

Jo , de Jo- ; I disremembers the bloody name jis 

now ; dere was right smart o' folks drownded when she 
come ashore." 

" How was it, Jack ?" 

" Why, you see, maussa, dis was a good many years 
ago, and my memory aint so good no more as it used to 
be ; but I'll tell you all about it, jis as fur as I can re- 
member. You see it had been blowin' great guns from 
the east, an' for five or six days. Den it come on to 
rain — ye never see de like of it !" 

" Such a storm as we had last week, Jack?" 

" Bless your soul, maussa, dat wasn't a circumstance. 


De chimneys come rattlin' down, the shingles blow off, 
an' de tide — I t'ought my soul it Vd never stop risin'. 
Well, dat night it blowed harder 'n ever. Jis afore sun- 
down, dere was a brig hove in sight with her top-hamper 
all carried away. De wind drove her strait in towards 
de shore. Well, ye see, de bankers dey come down to 
the beach to see her. De people" (the crew) " 'peared 
to be tryin' to get nail on her and claw off; but Lor' 
bless you, maussa, it wan't no use. Den dere was some- 
body — it was de cap'n, I s'pose — run up de main riggin' 
and made signals, and tried to say somethin' wid de 
speakin'-trumpet. He stayed alittle toolong in de riggin', 
for when de brig struck it knock him overboard, and it 
was ail day* wid him." 

" But why didn't they lower a boat, Jack ?" 
" I been guoine to tell you. You see, it wan't no use 
nohow to try to lower de boat. In de fus place, de 
boat bin knocked off de davys and lost, and de long- 
boat was too heavy to manage in a gale like dat. Lor' 
love you, maussa ! your heart would bin broke to see 
dem poor creturs. Dey all went aft on de poop-deck 
and tried to hang on to de rail. Dere was a lady' mong 
'em. Some of 'em was washed overboard when de brig 
struck, and it wa'n't long afore dey wa'n't one livin' 
soul to be seen. Some on 'em tried to swim ashore, but 
de under-tow, ye see, carry 'em back, an' it wan't no use. 
Dere was ten of 'em dat we picked up de next mornin'. 
De cor'ner sot on 'em, and dey was buried up dere by 
Jockey's Ridge. I don't never want to see no more 
such times as dem." 

* " All day with Mm" a common expression among sailors, 
meaning " he was killed." 


74 nag's head. 

" Did the bankers get anything from her t" 

" Yes, maussa, de beach was kivered wid de boxes, and 
barrels, an' I don't know what all." 

"Were none of the bodies identified?" 

"What you been guoine to say?" 

" I mean, did no one come to claim any of the bodies?" 

" No, maussa ; yes dere was, too. Dere was one ole 
gemman from Nansemond — I disremember what his 
name was — a gray-haired ole man dat took on, an' cried 
a heap about de young lady ; an' it 'pears to me dey 
carry de body away to Yirginny." 

To the vessel, Old Jack is literally wedded. On shore 
he is never contented, and for that matter, never even 
at sea ; for your true old salt grumbles at the most favor- 
able dispensations of Providence. Tell him " who kill- 
ed the ganger" (as Curran expressed it), and he would 
growl if you couldn't also inform him " who wore his 

A laughable trait of Old Jack's (as of all old sailors) 
is his dogmatical tone in all nautical matters. Nothing 
about a vessel but he considers himself supreme autho- 
rity as to its name and uses. No part of the world that 
he has not visited in person, or which some shipmate has 
not seen and told him all about it that is worth knowing ! 
There was a discussion among the crew one day about lati- 
tude. Jack had a knot of listeners round him, and was 
detailing to some of his untraveled friends a few of the 
"Wonders of Nature and Providence." 

" Ye see, dere is some places dat's mighty cole — 
cole enough to freeze de ears off of a brass monkey ! 
and dere is oder places where you can toast a sea-biscuit 
jis by leavin' it on deck in de sun. In some of dem 


dere high latitutes, up in a hundred an' ttventy, an' 
along dere." 

" Why, Jack," interrupted the mate (a white man), 
" there aint so much latitude as that nohow ; leastways, 
that I ever hearn tell on!" 

"De h — 1 dere aint, Bill! Tse bin giioine as high as 
96° myself 7" 

With all his faults, old Jack is a fine, manly specimen 
of a son of the sea. With his native shrewdness and 
good sense, education, and opportunity might have 
placed him in a higher and more congenial sphere. 
Will his" benighted brethren never be one of the sister- 
hood of the nations that are free? 



I am, as James would say, or rather as he has said, " ma- 
tutinal" in my habits. When one has lain for hours in 
the night, imparting a palsy-like animation (and I would 
here be understood to refer very particularly to the 
shaking palsy) to one's bed by the vigorous shiverings 
of a North Carolina ague, or " chill" there is no very 
great merit in your being matutinal in your habits. 
Apropos of the chills. I expressed to a Carolinian, 
when I first became a resident in the old North State, 
my surprise at the sallowness of complexion so common 
everywhere, and especially among the residents of the 
eastern counties. 

76 nag's head. 

" Bless your heart, my dear sir, it's nothing at all 
but the chills and fever! Were raised on it here! 
I'm rather partial to a chill, myself!" 

I was speaking of the custom of early rising. It has 
not attained quite to the character of custom with me, 
here at Nag's Head ; and for the fact that I rose at 
four this morning, I make no claim to the ordinary 
feeling of satisfaction which one is apt to feel in the 
exercise of such heroic self-denial. The truth is that I 
had been ill. I had lain, feverish and restless, for 

hours. Of them all, I alone was awake. C slept 

soundly, though ever and anon he would mutter some 
undistinguishable words, in his low, pleasant tones ; and 
then all was still. I say still; for the monotonous 
breathing of the sleepers around me, and the measured 
tick ! tick I ticJc-mg of the clock were but foils to make 
the silence more profound and more appreciable. 
Night — restlessness — solitude — and a chill ! what won- 
der that I rose at four ? 

A cool breeze from the ocean greeted me as I step- 
ped forth upon the sands, and I involuntarily directed 
my steps to the beach. Old Hector came bounding 
from his kennel, though he had discretion enough to 
stop a yard from me, with an inquiring look and a wag 
of his tail, which I construed into 

"By your leave, I'll bear you company." 

I was patting him on the head, when Jumper came 
wriggling along in a gait partaking the elegancies of 
both a rack and a gallop, and, with an inconsiderate 
rush at my nether man, very nearly upset me. I hope 
I may be forgiven. I had come forth in charity with 
all the world. I had felt grateful for the cool, fresh air 
of the sea, and the song of the birds, and the promise 


of a beautiful day. I had been gratified, too, at the 
well-bred retenue of old Hector in his courtly way of 
bidding me good morning, and his canine tact in so 
quietly " passing the time o' day." 

I repeat that I hope I may be forgiven. For, in a 
momentary uprising of wrath, I bestowed on poor 
Jumper, whose civilities around my legs were getting to 
be very decidedly pressing, a kick, in which I concen- 
trated all the energy that the chills and the fever had 
so considerately left me. Jumper looked up at me with 
a puzzled and astonished expression that makes me 
laugh as I write ; as if he had not quite made up his 
mind that he might reckon the civility I had just shown 
him as " one of the customs of the country." Without 
enlightening him, however, as to the lex loci, I pursued 
my way to the beach. 

The surf was breaking finely upon the shore ; and, 
feeling somewhat fatigued, I seated myself on a par- 
tially decayed cedar stump, that I might rest as I sur- 
veyed the beauties of daybreak. The dogs left me, 
and, to say the truth, I was glad of it. I like com- 
pany when I am traveling amidst fine scenery ; but a 
sunrise is appreciated best when seen alone. 

As I sat waiting for the advent of 

"The all-beholding sun," 

my attention was arrested by a very different object ; 
none other than a veritable sand-fiddler — an animal 
of the genus crab, I take it, though I am no naturalist. 
He was evidently "young and inexperienced;" for 
he halted at the very entrance of his hole, with a 
feiv of his legs over the edge of it, in readiness for in- 
stant and precipitate retreat. He stared at me as none 

78 nag's head. 

but the unsophisticated can stare, and I returned the 
civility. He had four legs on each side, between which 
his round crab-like body hung midway, in the manner 
of a suspension bridge, and two antennae in front. His 
black piercing eyes, which he kept immovably fixed 
upon me, as if he suspected me of "takin' notes," were 
at the extremity of two shorter antennae, and, so far as 
I could see, were capable of being moved in any direc- 
tion. While I was surveying him, there came gradually 
forth from a score of holes as many of the many-leg- 
ged inhabitants. My young friend, I found, was a sand- 
fiddler of little influence in the community. No notice 
was taken of him, except an occasional glance of re- 
proach for being the first to pop out of his hole in the 
very face of what was supposed to be the most immi- 
nent danger. 

Anon, in the throng that seemed gathering for mu- 
tual conference de salute republicee, came forth the 
old gray-beard inhabitants. With all the dignity of 
aldermen, they came forward in a direct way of pro- 
gression. Among the younger members of the com- 
munity, there was now and then a buckish or coquettish 
display of the fashionable elegancies of gait, " aiqual 
to a milliner," as Mr. Mickey Free would say. 

There was, at first, a good deal of bustle. The sages 
conferred together, and some among them seemed satis- 
fied that a crisis had come, or was about to come in the 
political and civil history of Fiddlerville. There was one 
lean hungry-looking fellow, a politician I was certain, 
who made himself conspicuous by running about, and 
sounding the views of the citizens. He seemed at last to 
have secured the attention of all. It is my deliberate 
belief that he was making a speech. If there had been 


any resolutions drawn up, I was not cognizant of the fact ; 
but I felt sure that that lean-looking sand-fiddler was 
successfully persuading the majority of the citizens both 
of their danger and his own patriotism, to say nothing of 
their own indomitable prowess, which, as it had ever 
been sufficient to defend the garrison, would now, out of 
all question, be equal to the present alarming crisis. 

The sun had risen, and it was the hour for breakfast. 
When I arose to depart, the whole assembly dispersed, 
my patriotic friend being the first in the inglorious re- 
treat to the subterranean city. A delicious dish of 
coffee awaited me on my return. John, the baby, was 
making the house ring with his good-natured roar. My 

friend W was discussing a corned mullet, and C 

had already ordered his horses for a drive with some of 
the ladies. 



Nag-'s Head would not long be known as a watering- 
place, or summer resort, but for the peculiar features 
which distinguish it from any other within my know- 
ledge. One of these features is the fact that a very 
large proportion of the visitors are actual residents in 
private dwellings. True, there is a large hotel, and it 
is usually thronged from the first of July until the latter 
part of September. The majority of those who take 

80 nag's head. 

up their quarters at the hotel are unmarried. Planters, 
merchants, and professional men usually have a snug 
cottage at Nag's Head, to which they remove their 
families, with the plainer and more common articles of 
household furniture, one- or more horses, a cow, and 
such vehicles as are fitted for use on sandy roads; a 
buggy sometimes, but oftener a cart, resembling the 
convenient Canadian cart or the Nantucket " calash" 
(caleche). One, two, three, sometimes half a dozen ser- 
vants accompany the family. Indeed, I know one gen- 
tleman who has some sixty negroes (children and in- 
valids for the most part) living here, not far from his 
own residence. It costs but little, if any more, to keep 
them here than it would to leave them at home. 

Now, to feed so many hungry mouths there must be 
a goodly supply of provisions. And, inasmuch as no- 
thing can be cultivated here, the supplies must come 
from the plantation. As fresh vegetables are almost 
indispensable, it is of great importance, too, that the 
intercourse between Nag's Head and home should be 
constant and regular. 

It is this that sustains some three or four packets, 
which run usually twice a-week. One of these plies 
between Elizabeth city and Nag's Head. Another 
comes from Hertford ; another from Edenton, and 
another from Salmon River, or Merry Hill ; the 
latter being owned and employed hj a wealthy gentle- 
man for the convenience of his family and friends. 

None of these packets, I believe, run less than sixty 
miles. They are chartered, if I am rightly informed, 
by a number of families ; and for a stipulated sum carry 
them back and forth, and convey horses, furniture, pro- 
visions, and other freight during " the season." 


It will readily be seen that the constant intercourse 
thus maintained, in a shallow sound (for the Albemarle 
has but a few fathoms of water) cannot be without 
danger. True, " the season" is the part of the year 
least hazardous to sailors ; but there occurs sometimes, 
in mid-summer even, a violent storm. This, in a 
stanch vessel, in the open sea, were a matter of small 
moment ; but with shoals on every hand, the coast 
scantily lighted, and with the decks cumbered by horses, 
carts, and furniture, a storm may be a thing to be 
dreaded even in Albemarle Sound. 

I was roused from my slumbers this morning by the 
shouts of the children, oddly contrasting with the gruff 
bass of old Jack, who had come for a chat with "Maussa 

" The packet's come ! mother ! the packet's come !" 

shouted Y and S . " Packet's come !" echoed 

little S ; and John the baby (a brave little fellow 

he is, too) roared, in an ecstasy of excitement, " Oo — oo 
— oo !" A promiscuous tumble upon the stairs was 

then heard, and up came T and F to swell the 


In a few minutes, the boat was loosed from her moor- 
ings, the sail set, and J was on his way to the 

packet. She lay quietly, riding at single anchor, and 
gave an air of companionship and life to a scene which 
else had little to rob it of its accustomed expression of 

barrenness and solitude. It was not long before J 

had returned, and the tumult recommenced. 

"Here's a letter for you, papa! And there's one 

for you, Mr. Seaworthy !" " Two for you, sister J !" 

" Here's some tomatoes ! and a bag of apples — and here's 


a box of clothes for you, T !" Such were some of the 

expressions that were audible in the momentary din. 

"What kind of a passage did you have?" said Mr. 
W to old Jack. 

" Why, tol'ble, Maussa John, thank ye ; on'y tol'ble. 
Eight smart chance of wind off Alligator* last night. 
Dark as burgoo. Den we had thunder and lightnin', 
and de rain — dey aint been no more sich sence de 
Flood. Ob course, youVe read all 'bout dat, Maussa 

" Any damage, Jack?" 

" No, maussa; leastways, none to speak of. Dere 
was one young lady's bonnet carried away, and clumsy 
ole Pete, plague take de fella ! trod on one of de ban'- 
boxes and spilt anoder. But de top-hamper and de 
groun'-takle's all right, and as long as dem is where dey 
b'longs, I don't care for de small damages. De Fox has 
got a new foresail and jib, and dem aint ben guoin to 
fetch away nohow." 

Such were my notes of the packets. I have other, 
and widely different associations which will long cause 
me to think of them with interest. It was on board 

the little packet that I left a home which a very 

short residence had made dear to me. My fellow- 
passengers were personal friends, and the ordinary and 
trivial incidents of a passage, under such circumstances, 
are eve?its which we remember with pleasure. 

It was in the packets, too, that I had seen, one after 
another, well-nigh all the familiar faces deserting their 
summer residences for the quiet and other comforts of 

* The mouth of the Alligator River. 


home. Some I had watched, as they departed, with 
the sad thought that it was scarcely probable that I 
should ever meet them again. One of the gloomiest 
of all the days I spent at Nag's Head was that on which 
some half a score of my personal friends bade us good 
by. On the preceding evening, C and myself ven- 
tured upon the singing of the following 


The parting hour is almost nigh, 
The night is on the wane, 

And weary days shall pass away 
Ere we shall meet again. 


'•' The old familiar faces" 

Of friends we hold most dear, 

"Will haunt us in our lonely hours 
For many a coming year. 

Farewell ! and Heaven's blessings, 

Like Heaven's dews, descend 
On you and yours, while happily 

Life's journey ye shall wend. 


A land there is where parting hours 

Our hearts shall fear no more ; 
And friends, long gone before us there, 

Shall meet us on the shore. 

We sang the stanzas to the air of "Lucy Neal." 
For the words, they are of little interest or merit, ex- 
cepting that which was lent them by the occasion. They 
may possibly meet the eye of some to whom they will 

84 nag's head. 

bring a forgotten, perhaps a pleasant, incident of a visit 
at Nag's Head. 

" Going off to the packet, Mr. Seaworthy?" said 
C , the next morning, at the breakfast-table. 

" Thank you, C ; I believe I am scarcely able 

to do so." 

" You'd better go. Bill, put the saddle on old Scip. 
Shall I have a horse saddled for you, Mr. Seaworthy?" 

" I thank you, no." 

The breakfast was scantily honored. Away galloped 

C ; away went the doctor, and I was left alone. I 

crawled rather than walked to the nearest sand-hill, 
and looked down upon the sound. There lay the beau- 
tiful packet, well-nigh ready for her departure. Boats 
were running busily to and fro. There was a little knot 
of gentlemen at the wharf; and I thought I could see 
now and then the flutter of a white dress among them, 
which went far to explain their patient tarrying on the 

I leaned against the stake of a half-buried fence, and 
gazed until the packet got her anchor. As I have seen 
an albatross lift his white wings in the snow and sleet of 
Cape Horn, so quietly and gracefully did the little 
packet spread her snow-white canvass for her de- 
parture. She turned her head coquettishly away from 
the amorous breeze that came jauntily and with lover- 
like impetuosity from the sun-lighted sea, and glided 
away as noiselessly as did ever fairy from her hare-bell 
palace. Right valiantly did I essay a cheerful smile as 
I entered the house. 

" They are gone!" said I, as I made the effort; but 
the familiar faces and tones, and remembered looks, 


and words, and songs, came "crowding thickly up;" my 
lip would quiver, and I sought the stillness and solitude 
of my little chamber, and stifled, in grim sternness, the 
up-thronging recollections. There was a long entry in 
my journal that day, my dear reader, and — and — but, 
pardon me ! you are not my father confessor ; nor did 
I by any means "make a clean breast of it" to my 



" 0, Mr. Seaworthy, there's a vessel ashore." 


" Just beyond Jockey's Ridge, about six miles, they 
say; came ashore last night. She's got all sorts o' 

good things aboard; and Mr. and Mr. , and 

Col. , and I don't know how many more, have gone 

up to see her." 

" Any lives lost?" 

" JSTo, they all got safe ashore ; and I b'lieve the 
cap'n's at the hotel now." 

Such was a little dialogue between a charming little 
girl and myself, as I seated myself, this evening, at 
supper. The conversation naturally turned upon wrecks. 
Divers tales were told of "hair-breadth 'scapes" from the 
perils of the sea. We sat long at the table. The con- 
versation was of especial interest to the little folk, and 

86 nag's head. 

I was somewhat suddenly startled by one of them, who 
said to me, 

" 0, Mr. Seaworthy, you've been to sea. Why can't 
you tell us a story?" 

* Well, S , a story you shall have. Would you 

just as lief I would give you a story told me by an old 
shipmate of mine?" 

" No; indeed I wouldn't!" 

" Well, then, one of my own, if you so prefer it; 
and, to give it the first name I think of, I will call it 


" The graves! What in the world have graves to do 
with a sea-story?" 

" If you will examine the chart of Massachusetts 
Bay, you will see, at no great distance from Boston 
Light, a very dangerous reef." 

" Such a reef as they take when it blows too hard, 
Mr. Seaworthy?" asked one of the youngsters. 

" No, my dear; but a very dangerous reef of rocks, 
on which many a brave vessel has been wrecked." 

" Were you wrecked, Mr. Seaworthy?" 

" That is just what I am going to tell you about. 
And you mustn't interrupt me so, or I shall never be 
able to tell you at all. Now don't pout about it." 

In the winter of 184 — , I had occasion to go from 
New York to Frankfort, in Maine. I dreaded, as I 
always do, so long a journey in the cars; and I am free 
to confess that I did not quite relish the idea of a Feb- 
ruary voyage between the two ports. And yet I had a 
sailor's curiosity to see something of the New England 


coast in winter. I had heard a thousand and one 
stories about getting " iced-up," and being obliged to 
run off into the Gulf* to thaw out the running rigging. 
I had heard, too, how vessels which had done so, and 
got back in sight of Boston Light, had been caught by 
" a nor'-wester, right in the teeth," and been forced to 
repeat the experiment. I had no doubt of the truth of 
the account ; but, for one reason or other, I had a de- 
sire to see for myself. I had been four times off Cape 
Horn, and had heard old seamen say that the Cape was 
not half so much to be dreaded as the Yankee coast in 

A brisk walk to Whitehall, and among the piers, 
enabled me to secure a passage in the good schooner 
Jaxe, which, the advertisement said, would " have dis- 
patch." The captain, a slightly-formed but resolute 
young man, at first objected to taking a passenger. 

U The fact is, you see," said he, "it is colder'n Kam- 

schatka, a d n sight. My crew is made up of Maine 

boys who know their places, and I ain't a goin' to make 
'em live for'ard such weather as this. We all live aft, 
and if you go, you'll have to rough it out as we do." 

I expressed my readiness to accept the plainest ac- 
commodations, observing that I had been at sea, and 
was not likely to be taken by surprise in regard to the 
accommodations. At an early hour the next morning, 
I had my baggage on board. It was decided that we 
could not get away that day. Dressing, therefore, in 
the most venerable suit I could find, I went on deck, 
and spent the greater part of the day in helping Mr. 
Mastcoat, the mate, and the crew, in getting the vessel . 

* The common appellation given by sailors to the Gulf Stream. 

88 nag's head. 

ready for sea. There was the jib-boom to rig out, a 
sail or two to bend, and divers other little jobs that oc- 
cupied the entire day. Meanwhile, the captain had 
"cleared" at the custom-house, and about eight o'clock 
the next morning we were under way with the pilot on 

We had everything set, except stu'n'sails; and we 
were soon through Hell-Gate, bounding along with a 
smacking breeze a full point abaft the beam. The pilot 
left us, and the wind partially died away. As the day 
waned, however, it freshened again from the north-west, 
and the weather grew bitterly cold. During the day, 
rather than stay below I remained on deck, and stood 
for an hour or two at the wheel. Feeling somewhat 
fatigued, I went below a little after nightfall, and 
turned in for the night, saying to Captain Carline, as 
I did so, 

" If I can be of service to you, give me a call." 

" Thank you," was the reply, and in a few minutes 
J was in the land of dreams. I slept long and soundly. 
It was, perhaps, three o'clock the next morning that 
Amos came to me, and said, in his low, musical tones, 

" Mr. Seaworthy, if you please, you may give us a 
lift. It's blowing hard, and we want to get some of the 
canvass off her. Captain says that if you'll take the 
wheel, he'll go aloft with us and get another reef in 
the topsail." 

I dressed hastily and went on deck. Before us, in 
plain sight, were the white cliffs of Gay Head. The 
moon was at the full — not a cloud to be seen — and the 
night was bitterly cold. A palsy-like shiver came over 
me as I took the wheel. 


" Keep her as she goes, if you please," said Captain 
Carline, as he gave me the wheel. 

" A j, ay, sir," replied I, mechanically; and I saw him 
spring lightly into the rigging. A moment more and I 
heard his clear, hearty, ringing voice as he shouted, 

" Haul out to leeward !" 

My berth at the wheel was no sinecure. The topsail- 
yard was on the cap, and the yard braced sharp to the 
wind, which had hauled aft so far that the schooner 
yaived fearfully in spite of my best efforts. By watch- 
ing her closely, however, I managed to acquit myself 
creditably. Our fore and aft sails were now lowered, 
reefed, and set again, and the Jane "behaved better." 

We were soon under the lee of N-aushon and in 
smooth water. There was a little fleet of small craft in 
Tarpaulin Cove, which had been more fortunate than 
we in making a snug harbor. It was but a short time, 
however, before we reached Holmes' Hole. We an- 
chored just at daybreak, having made the passage 
from New York in about twenty hours. 

The wind grew more moderate towards noon, and the 
bumboats came off to us with pies and milk. Mr. Mast- 
coat, the mate, offered to take his " 'fi-davy" that the 
pies were mince-pies; and that, if they ivere of that 
description, he, for one, was not enough of a Society 
Islander to relish dog, "kowsomever hashed up." After 
such a remark, no one was disposed to buy either pies or 
milk, and the poor bumboat-men sought a market in 
another part of the little fleet around us. 

The weather continued to improve, and we got under 
way with a light, westerly breeze, heading for Cape 
Cod. At noon, it fell calm; but before we were fairly 
up with the Cape, we were most unexpectedly, and 


90 nag's head. 

certainly very unwelcoruely, greeted with a cold, raw, 
searching north-easter. As a north-east wind on the 
New England coast is, in the winter months, usually 
accompanied with snow, Captain Carline did not think 
it prudent to remain outside, and decided to run into 
some harhor. Mr. Mastcoat suggested Provincetown. 

" Have you ever been into that harbor, Mr. Mast- 
coat?" said the captain. 

" Yes, indeed, sir; four or five times." 

" Can you pilot the Jane in there?" 

" Yes, sir ; I think I jfcift, if anybody km. 19 

" Put her away, then." 

" A J> ay, sir." 

" So! steady as you go!" 

" Steady as you go, sir!" 

It was night, and the lights were blazing before we 
had reached even the roadstead or outer harbor. Mr. 
Mastcoat's memory was at fault. The lights confused 
him, and he was reluctantly obliged to confess that he 
" didn't 'zackly knoiv which was which!" As the cap- 
tain had depended on him as a pilot, he was very 
naturally angry. 

" Wal," said he, " i~can find the way into the bloody 
harbor, if you can't! When I go into port, I al'ays 
notice things so as I can go in there ag'in. I've got a 
chart of the hole, thank fortin'; and I could take the 
Jane to h — 11 if I had a chart ont!" 

We were happy to find ourselves, about ten o'clock, 
safely anchored in the harbor at Provincetown. 

" How's the wind?" asked Captain Carline, as he lay 
in his berth the next morning. 

" 'Bout nothe-east, sir," replied the mate, who had 
just been on deck. 


" No gittin' away from Provincetown to-day, then, 
unless we run into Boston. Blowin' any this mornin'?" 

" Blows fresh, sir." 

It was on Monday night that we anchored. Tuesday 
passed, and Wednesday came, and the wind was still 
from the north-east. I can, even now, recall the scene 
of that morning on board the schooner. Captain Car- 
line was sitting in the door-way of his state-room read- 
ing. Mr. Mastcoat sat on the transom; the cabin-boy 
Jim was sweeping the ashes from the stove-hearth, 
puffing like a porpoise withal. Ben and Amos had been 
on deck making an oak snatch for the ring-stopper, and 
came below with the comfortable assurance that there 
was no change in the weather, and that there was no 
hope of anything better until the change of the moon. 

Time wore slowly away. We went ashore, and 
roamed about the street (for the town has but one worth 
the name) of Provincetown, amusing ourselves with the 
frolics of the children and the curiosities of the show 
windows. For myself, I remember debating, as I saw a 
bevy of young ladies pass, with cheeks and eyes whose 
freshness and brilliancy I have by no means yet forgot- 
ten, the expediency of becoming a resident of the 
Cape. There was a field for me to win immortal 
fame. Couldn't I discover some process of fertilizing 
the sand-hills? If I could, wouldn't it make my for- 
tune? And, with a fortune, and a veil and hood (with 
their proprietress, such a one as I had there seen), what 
else could the world give me ? Could I not write, as 
wrote Gil Blas, over the door of my cottage, 

" Spes, et Fortuna! valete! 
Sat me Jusistis; nunc hi elite alios?" 

92 nag's head. 

Thursday passed without any change in the weather; 
but on Friday morning we got our anchor at the dawn 
of day. The day was clear and sunny; but there was 
a frosty rawness and chilliness in the air that made it 
necessary for us to " bundle up," and to thump our 
hands and feet to keep them above the freezing point. 
The wind, contrary to our expectations, was light and 
baffling, and at two o'clock Race Point was not far off 
on our lee quarter. 

I retreated from the deck, and, on going below, 
amused myself by taking a general survey of the little 
cabin. Captain Carline was lounging on the transom. 
Amos was fortifying himself with an extra jacket. The 
rudder was creaking on its pintles, and thumping mo- 
notonously against the casing. The sunlight flashed up 
from the ripples in our wake, as the schooner pitched 
lazily on the low swell. The little cylinder stove was 
red with the blazing coal, and we bade defiance to the 
cold. The wood work of the cabin was of brownish 
red, with paneling in imitation of maple. A little 
table stood against the bulkhead, with a reddish cover 
that would have been all the better for the humane 
offices of the laundress. Underneath it was a trunk, 
and over it, on a nail, hung a depopulated castor; the 
pepper and vinegar alone surviving of all the family 
circle. Near it hung the captain's watch. On the tran- 
som, fastened to the rudder casing, was a looking-glass 
which gave me a villainous presentiment that I can never 
forgive to my dying day. In front of it lay a pack of 
cards. Around it were a spare compass, a Bible, the 
Kedge- Anchor, the American First Glass-Book, Blunt's 
Coast Pilot, and the Cruise of the Midge; and between 
the carlines, on a marline netting, hung divers charts. 


Towards night the wind hauled to the north, and the 
weather grew bitterly cold. No exertions on deck were 
sufficient to keep up a comfortable temperature ; and, 
having been there nearly all day, I went below and 
turned in, saying to the captain, however, that he might 
call me at any time when he might need my assistance. 

About midnight, Amos came to my little state-room, 
and, in his mild, musical tones, awoke me at a single 
call. I had not slept an hour, and very much pre- 
ferred remaining in my berth ; but remembering what I 
had said to the captain, I turned out, dressed as hastily 
as possible, and went on deck. We were off Boston 
Light, and not a great way from " The Graves !" 

"Bless me! what a dismal name for a reef!" ex- 
claimed S . 

I looked aloft as I stepped from the companion-way. 
The fore-topgallant sail hung in the brails, and the main- 
topmast staysail was flapping in the cross-trees, with a 
noise that made me very decidedly desirous to see it snugly 
stowed. The schooner was plunging and pitching hea- 
vily under a press of canvass, and the cold — ugh ! it 
makes me shudder now to think of it. To fill our cup 
of discomforts, the snow came driving in our faces. 
Captain Carline begged me to take the wheel while the 
people were taking in sail ; and, although I was there 
but a few minutes, my hands and feet were aching with 
cold when he came back and relieved me. 

We had got, as we supposed, the weather-gage of 
" The Graves," and the captain bore away gradually 
for Long Island Light. Not quite satisfied, however, 
in this regard, and not caring to make any very inti- 
mate acquaintance with such a reef and on such a 
night, he hauled by the wind and stood on until both 

94 nag's head. 

lie and the mate were satisfied that they might safely 
bear away for Long Island Light. He did so. He was 
at the wheel ; and, to shelter myself from the piercing 
wind, I went into the waist and leaned against the 

"Keep a bright look-out ahead, Mr. Mastcoat," said 
Captain Carline. 

" A 7> a J> sir -" 

"Look out therein the waist, too. D'ye see any- 
thing of the reef, Ben ?" — 

" Yes sir ; think I do ; showin' his teeth a little ways 
under our lee, sir !" 

It was even so. But a few rods from the schooner 
the waves were breaking over the low rocks, the white 
foam looking, in the darkness, like the teeth of some 
snarling cur, dying to vent his spleen on some object 
which might feel his fangs. 

"Keep a bright look-out, all hands!" shouted the 

I turned from the prospect under the lee, and looked 
over the weather-rail. Merciful Heaven ! There, not 
three fathoms from the schooner, in the midst of the 
foam, was a jagged mass of rocks. They formed an 
outer spur of the main reef, and we were passing 
through a narrow channel where we would have little 
cared to be in the day-time, and in the best of weather. 
I was about to apprize Captain Carline of our danger, 
when Ben caught my arm, and said, in a whisper, 

"Don't say a word! The danger's past. We're in 
good water now." 

" Are you sure of it ?" 

" Sure of it ? Yes ; I've been through here before." 


" Luff a little, sir ! there's a schooner right ashead of 
us," said the mate. 

The vessel was but a little way ahead of us, and, as 
we were keeping away more than she, we were soon 
abreast of her. A change in our course again brought 
us in her wake, and we were dashing along at a furious 
rate, when her captain shouted, 

" Hard doivn ! hard down with your helm ! 
Quick ! or you'll be afoul of us ! There's ice ahead!" 

We almost grazed her davits as we passed her. A 
low, though harsh, rumbling, grating sound now greeted 
our ears; our headway was very sensibly diminished, 
and in ten minutes we were stationary in the ice, mid- 
way in the channel, and just abreast of Long Island 
Light. As I had slept a little, and the captain and 
crew had been on deck since nightfall, I offered to re- 
main on deck until daybreak. The wind freshened 
until about four o'clock, when I called the steward, and 
with his assistance stowed the jib, lowered the mainsail, 
settled the topsail on the cap, and hauled out the reef- 
tackles. Thus passed our first night in the ice. "We 
scarcely changed our position during the night. When 
day dawned, we discovered several vessels in the same 
unenviable quarters as ourselves. Quite near us was the 
schooner we were so near running afoul of a few hours 
before, and an English brig. 

During the day we drifted a little with the ice, and 
in the following night, which happened to be Saturday 
night, we succeeded in getting the Jane out of the chan- 
nel into a bay on the north side of Long Island. 

It was not until the next Thursday that we escaped. 
We had, meantime, been as miserable as it then seemed 
possible for us to be. Ben and I had gone ashore on 

96 nag's head. 

the ice. We had dug clams and made a chowder. We 
had lowered the boat and tried to break out of the ice. 
All in vain, until about midnight on Wednesday night, 
the ice left us free. In the morning we made sail, and 
ran up near the city ; and there we had the pleasure of 
waiting a week for a change of wind. Indeed, it was 
a pleasure, for Captain Carline went with me to see 
Warren and Smith in " Old Job and Jacob Gray ;" and 
Mrs. Barrett as "Julia," and Miss Gann as Helen, in 
" The Hunchback." 

" But didn't you go Frankfort, after all?" 


"Well, then, tell us the rest, won't you?" 

" Some other evening. Meanwhile, sing me i The 
Land of the West,' and I'll bid you good night." 

We sang it in chorus ; and I awoke, a little past mid- 
night, in an attempt to sing 

" Then come there with me, 'tis the land I love best, 
; Tis the home of my sires, His my own darling West." 


nag's head — AS it was and is. 

" Those good old days ! 
All days, when old are good/ 7 

says Byron; and if I may credit half of what I hear of 
Nag's Head in the olden time, there must, indeed, have 
been happy hearts and homes there. It was all a forest 


then. There were but three families who had built 
summer residences there, and were accustomed to re- 
move there with their families. The headland then bore 
some resemblance, in the sea-approach, to the head of a 
horse, and hence its name. The days were spent in 
hunting, fishing, riding, and other amusements. The 
three families were as one in the interchange of kind- 

This primitive character, and absence of the restraints 
of fashionable life, together with the zest of novelty, 
wore gradually away. Dwellings sprang up, as sud- 
denly, almost, as palaces in the Arabian Nights. It 
was asserted that he who cared to escape the accus- 
tomed attack of "the bilious" had but to go to Nag's 
Head, and that with a supply of Parr's pills one might 
there survive his wish to live. 

The resort was soon thronged. A hotel was built, and 
a chapel. Roads were cut through the woods, and 
among what the bankers call "the up-guoines" (sand- 
hills). The song and the dance ; the fox-hunt, the 
bowling-alley, and the delicious fish were powerful re- 
commendations, and Nag's Head became but another 
name for happiness. Lovers walked on the sea-shore. 
Doctors practiced without fees. It was respectable to 
be seen in homespun. 

" It aint as't used to be, nohow /" said old Jack to me 
one day, when we had been conversing a long while to- 
gether. " Mebee it's because I'm gittin along in 
years that things seem so much altered like. That's it 
partly, I do s'pose. But den, ye see, massa, dey use to 
go ebery evenin' to the beach — eb'rybody. Now dey 
does nuffin but dance at White's. Den de most respec'- 
blest people" — Jack loved a large word — " used to wear 

98 nag's head. 

the oldest and worsest clothes dey had. Now dey is 
gittin as fashionable as dey is in Baltimore." 

I afterward visited the place where the original set- 
tlement was made. Tor acres around, there was not a 
single shrub or spire of grass. The three hills on which 
the dwellings stood were strewn with bricks, half covered 
with the mortar, which had become as hard as them- 
selves. Among them were some fragments of bottles, 
and divers piles of oyster-shells, among which Jonathan 
Oldbuck might have discovered more antiquities than in 
his fertile Kaim of Kinprunes ; and which, I confess, 
were somewhat suggestive of scenes of sharp appetites, 
ruddy cheeks, and good fare. All around me had been a 
beautiful forest ; and lo ! in its place I beheld some scores 
of the tops, merely of huge oaks, and cedars which had 
yielded to the little grains of sand, whose coquettish 
frolics with the winds they had complacently looked 
down upon, or whose gadding propensities, as manifested 
in wandering from sea to sound, they had gravely and 
sternly rebuked. 

As I sat on the fragment of a decayed door-sill, my 
friend Dr. C approached. 

" You were one of the original settlers here, I be- 
lieve, doctor." 

"No, sir. My father is better entitled to that title, 
if it may properly be conferred on anybody who spends 
two months on a sand-hill !" 

" What's in the wind, doctor ? You don't seem to be 
particularly pleased with Nag's Head." 

" How should I ? I have almost broken my neck to- 
day in a fox-hunt. I lamed my best horse at the same 
time in the quicksands. I went to the Fresh Ponds on 
a pic-nic the day before yesterday, and on that inte- 

nag's head— as it was and is. 99 

resting occasion I tore a lady's dress in extricating my 
fish-hook from it (for you must know, fishing is a sine 
qua non in a pic-nic at the Fresh Ponds), stuck another 
in her finger in getting a perch off her hook ; and, as a 
grand finale, I fell into the pond. Don't laugh at me ! 

Dam that is to say, it was a melancholy disaster, 

Mr. Seaworthy." 

" Very," said I, gravely. 

" The next day I went on a fishing excursion, almost 
to the inlet. We forgot to carry water, and it was as 

hot as as hot as blazes. We expected to return 

to dinner, and we took no provisions. We had a thunder- 
squall just at night, and we were obliged to row and 
pole the old tub of a boat four miles, geographic or Irish 
measure, in such a rain as, I'll make affirmation, has 
never been since that remarkably long rain I used to 
read about in the Bible." 

" The deluge ?" 


" I hope you read that best of books still, doctor." 

"Yes, sir, but not here. I defy any man to do it. 
I'm in a tearing passion from the time I come here till 
I go away. I hate the wind, eternally blowing off my 
hat — might wear a cap, I s'pose, but I hate a cap. I 
hate the good-for-nothing servants, who need an hour to 
black your boots, and who always obey the last order. 
There's our Tom, now. I sent him the other day to 
"White's for a package. My father saw him on the way, 
and without knowing the boy's errand — for the dolt 
would never tell him, if he lived to the age of the pa- 
triarchs — sent him for some soft crabs. As fortune 
would have it, my sister was coming home from an ex- 
cursion to the Fresh Ponds, and sent him there to bring 

100 nag's head. 

home her fan which she had left in a tree, under which 
we had eaten our dinner. And he went after the fan ! 
I hate the traveling in the sand, in which you sink to 
the ankles. I hate the naked glaring hills. In fact, I 
don't like the State." 

"I thought everybody liked the old North State. 
Don't you remember the song we heard at Madame 
's the other evening ? 

Oh, her sons are brave, her daughters fair, 
The old North State ; 

And dust of heroes slumbers there, 
The old North State ! 

The birds that sing, the flowers of spring, 

Or June, or Autumn late — 

Oh! there's ne'er a land so dear to me, 
The old North State. 


Though the lands of other climes be fair, 

The old North State 
Hath scenes as beautiful and rare, 

The old North State. 
'Tis there the exile, doomed to roam, 
Forgets the wanderer's fate 
Within a Carolina home, 

The old North State ! 


Then peace within her borders be, 

The old North State ; 

"With freedom and prosperity, 

The old North State. 

And if, in coming years, we're doomed 

To part, or soon or late, 

I'll treasure in my heart of hearts 

The old North State." 


" All very well in its way, Mr. Seaworthy ; and Miss 

sung it admirably ; though the air of ' Loves 

Young Dream is one I don't particularly admire, and 
the words themselves are only so so. All the songs in 
the world wouldn't make me like the State." 

" You're a native ?" 

" Not I ! and I'm glad of it. I have tried to like it, 
but it's out of the question. I don't like the east winds 
that blow with the constancy and regularity of the 
trades. I don't like ' the bilious,' which drags a man to 
death's door every summer, unless he suffers martyrdom 
and fresh fish down here. I don't like the detestable 
chills on which they raise their children, and which steal 
on you so slyly that you're an hour in coming to the dole- 
ful conclusion that you have got it. And I might add 
what I heard old Jimmy Dyer say yesterday, ' the State 
contains an awful quantity of poor sperits /' ' 

" You say you are not a native?" 

" Yes. We are from Maryland — some years ago, 
however ; and from one of the most beautiful nooks 
within its borders — one of those beautiful valleys that 
seem to nestle so affectionately to the side of the Ca- 
toctin Ridge." 

" Why not return there?" 

" Why, indeed! thereby hangs a tale." 

" Enlighten me." 

" With pleasure. But suppose we walk to the old 
oak yonder, with the vine over it, and seat ourselves in 
the shade." 

A walk of a furlong brought us to the spot. 

" We came to North Carolina in '41; the year after 
Harrison's campaign, you remember. Until that time, 
living, as I did, so far from this State, and having 

102 nag's head. 

nothing to call my attention particularly to it, I knew 
almost nothing about it. I had heard my Virginia 
friends tell some rather amusing stories about it. I had 
read in the geography that the country, for more than 
sixty miles from the coast, was a low, sandy plain, full 
of swamps; and that the dry districts among them were 
covered with pine forests, which produced tar, pitch, 
and turpentine, rosin and lumber, in great abundance. 
I had also an indistinct idea of a very high mountain 
in the western part, and had read, occasionally, the 
newspaper accounts of the gold mines. This, with some 
little recollection of the history of the State, as written, 
and ably too, by Williamson, was all I knew of the land 
which has become my home. 

" When I left Pleasant Valley for my college-course at 
Cambridge, at the age of seventeen, I left one of the 
loveliest, most bewitching, most " 

" So there was a lady in the case?" 

" Of course there was; for I'd be obliged to you, Mr. 
Bachelor Seaworthy, if you would be so good as to tell 
me in which and how many of the cases that make up 
our ephemeral existence there zsw'£alady!" replied the 
doctor, with considerable emphasis. "I was about to say 
that, dear to me as was every rock of the hills and every 
clod of the valley, as my home, it was a thousand fold 
dearer to me as the home of Kent Robinson. She 
was — but come and take tea with me to-morrow. You 
would not believe me if I were to tell you what she was, 
without having seen her as she is. And let me, by way 
of parenthesis, here protest against your unsocial habits; 
for our domicil has not been honored with your pre- 

" I spare you a thousand details of the years that I 


spent at Cambridge. My vacations were spent at home, 
and with her. We galloped the country over ; now to 
Harper's Ferry ; then to surrounding hills ; then across the 
ridges towards Shepherdstown, following the windings 
of our own beautiful Potomac on our way homeward. 

" Will you believe it? Though she had been my 
playmate from early youth, I had never the courage to 
utter what was ever hovering at my lips. 

' Day succeeded day, 
Each fraught with the same innocent delights, 
Without one shock to ruffle the disguise' 

of brotherly regard. When, at the close of my acade- 
mic career, I returned to the Valley for a two months' 
respite, I had still left my thoughts and purposes, my 
absorbing love for her, unspoken. My profession I had 
already chosen ; and at the close of my holidays I had 
already made arrangements with Dr. , of Balti- 
more, to enter his office as a student. The weeks flew 
by like a dream, and, ere I was aware of it, the last 
week of my visit was on the wane. I remember, as if it 
were yesterday, the few days that remained. It was 
Thursday of that week that we varied the course of our 
customary gallop (for we scarcely ever rode in any other 
way) and rode up the valley. 

" November was half gone, and the Indian summer had 
clothed hill and valley in a sombre beauty that I loved 
better than the gorgeousness of June. Never had I 
seen the forests so beautifully arrayed in their many- 
colored drapery. The stillness, the leaf-strown path- 
ways, the curling smoke from distant chimneys, the 
1 golden haziness' of the atmosphere — all were full of 
beauty, and, with Kent by my side, you have no need 

104 nag's head. 

of special revelation to assure you that I was happy. 
Was it thus that Willis expressed it — 

' God, I have enough !' 

I am sorry I've forgotten it, for it's a gem. Such 
was my own feeling for a moment; but the next instant 
changed the current. Did she love me? A score of 
times was the avowal on my lips, when a question, or a 
laugh, or some object by the wayside arrested it; and 
when we reached home the words were not yet uttered. 

" At the foot of the mountain, but half a mile distant 
from the house, was a spring that bubbled from beneath 
a huge rock, and which we were accustomed to call Rock 
Spring. To this, as the shadows were lengthening, we 
took our almost customary walk. Saddened by the 
thought of my approaching departure, I was taciturn 
and abstracted, and was more than once laughed at for 
my ludicrous replies. We reached the spring. A tall 
maple, whose garniture of leaves the frost had changed 
to a robe of crimson, stood like a sentinel at the foot 
of the rock. Near it were the beech, the birch, the 
hickory, and, here and there, a pine. The waters of 
the spring, clear as the heavens, mirrored the hues 
above it. The sun was no longer visible to us ; but his 
sober smile still played on hill, and wood, and field on 
the opposite side of the valley. 

" It was one of the ties that bound me to Kent, that 
she sung with the nicer expressions of thought, humor, 
and feeling, as they occur in a song, and without which 
a song is but a grim skeleton instead of the living, beau- 
tiful, soul-animated masterpiece of art which it is in 
the hands of your true singer. She pointed to the dis- 


tant hills tipped with golden light, and sung, as she did 
so, the beautiful song of Lover's. 

1 come to the West, love ; 0, come there with me, 
'Tis the sweet land of verdure that springs from the sea/ 

and I accompanied her with the bass. The song ceased. 

" ' The old day-wearied sun' had gone \ to his home 
in the West,' and we were yet standing on the rock. 
Kent stood looking thoughtfully on the gorgeous sky 
far away in the south-west, and a low sigh reached my 
ear as she replaced the light bonnet which had been 
lying on the rock at her feet. 

" ' Time for us to go home, Paul,' said she, hastily ; 
" but I must have a score of those beautiful leaves to 
carry home with me;' and, reaching out her hand sud- 
denly, she lost her balance. Quick as the lightning, I 
grasped her arm. 

" ' Thank God, dear Kent, you are safe !' The death-like 
paleness that overspread her features, and the slight 
stagger as she regained her footing might have excused 
an older head than mine for encircling her waist with 
my arm. The rubicon was passed. A few low, trem- 
bling words told the long-treasured secret. The little 
bonnet somehow, as bonnets will, fell back ; and when 
Kent's eyes next met mine, there was in them a light 
and a smile that, by a sort of free-masonry, emboldened 
me to imprint upon her lips a kiss that thrills my pulses 
even now. 

"At midnight on the following Sabbath, I had said 
my last good night. I retired to my chamber for two 
or three hours, but not to sleep. To the full was I 
happy. It was not yet four o'clock, when I stepped 
into the carriage, with old Sam the coachman on the 

106 nag's head. 

boot, and in five minutes jnore I was on the road. I 
caught the gleam of light from the windows as we as- 
cended a small hill; but it was only for a moment, and 
the wood which we were entering shut it wholly from 

"I arrived safely at Baltimore, and entered upon my 
studies. What with correspondence and occasional 
visits, the three years passed happily away. I took my 
degree with credit, and was delighted to receive an invi- 
tation from my father to accompany him on a trip to 
the North. Kent, he said, would go with him, and he 
was pleased to add that he supposed I would not object 
to the arrangement. 

" We were soon on our way. It was early in Septem- 
ber. The season was well-nigh over ; but never have 
I since that time, enjoyed half the pleasure that I then 
experienced, as we ascended the Hudson, lingered at 
Saratoga and Lake George, and glided along the roman- 
tic Champlain. From Burlington we traveled by easy 
stages through the beautiful villages of Vermont and 
New Hampshire to the White Mountains; and after 
remaining a week at Crawford's, journeyed on to Port- 
land. It was agreed that we should stop a day or two 
at Salem, a relative of my father's being then a resident 
there. We did so, and were most cordially received; 
welcomed with a hospitality that would have done honor 
to the home of any gentleman in the land, the Old Do- 
minion and the Carolinas not excepted. I like Salem. 
There is a quiet, and cleanliness and respectability about 
it that smacks of the Quakers — or of the better circles, 
among those known as the 'higher circles;' the calm 
self-possession of the well-bred man or woman of the 
world, knowing his or her position. The sea-approach 


to it is lovely indeed. I have entered the harbor from 
the North and from the South, in autumn and in mid- 
winter, and it was the same scene of picturesque beauty. 
Nothing grand, nothing awe-inspiring ; but giving you 
the pleasure one has in seeing a fine woman, or a fine 
picture — anything, in short, where harmony and pro- 
portion please you. 

" The week glided quickly away. On the evening pre- 
vious to the day of our departure, we had crossed the 
bridge and walked for a mile on the pretty street lead- 
ing towards Marblehead. On our return, we stopped 
for a few moments on the bridge. It was already dusk. 
The sky was black and lowering, and the street lanterns 
were blinking drowsily through the fog. The 'jiggers' 
and 'pinkeys' lay affectionately side by side, as if 
nestling closer together to meet the threatened storm. 

"'By the by,' said our host, as we walked homeward, 
6 the Minerva is bound to Baltimore and will sail in a 
day or two. Why not stay and go home in her V 

"None of us had thought of such a thing; but the 
proposition found favor. Kent was 'dying to see a 
storm at sea,' and I was quite as eager to know some- 
thing of 'the ropes.' It was agreed upon. We re- 
mained some few days longer, and one fine afternoon 
towards the last of September we bade good-by to Salem. 
We had fine weather during the night, and the Minerva 
proved to be all that we could ask. She was a beauti- 
ful bark of near four hundred tons burthen, and we 
were anticipating a pleasant passage. The weather 
changed, however, the next day, and as we were passing 
Gay-Head and Cuttyhunk (for we ran through the 
Vineyard Sound), the wind hauled to the north-east 
and soon freshened to a gale. What was worse, it began 

108 nag's head. 

to rain most furiously; a cold, driving, pelting easterly 
rain. One by one our light sails had been taken in ; 
the royals and topgallant sails furled, the flying-jib 
stowed. The foretopmast staysail lay snug in the net- 
tings, and the mainsail and spanker hung in the brails. 
Anon the topsails were reefed, and the mainsail furled, 
and when I went below for the night the Minerva was 
lying-to, under a close reefed maintopsail and foretop- 
mast staysail. She was an excellent sea boat ; never 
throwing a drop of water abaft the mainmast, and riding 
the angry waves like an albatross in the snow and hail 
of Cape Horn. 

" 'We shall have a dirty night of it, doctor' — I had 
become accustomed already to my new title — 'I'm 
afraid,' said the mate, as I stepped into the companion- 
way to go below. ' If you are unable to sleep, let me 
know, and I'll have a hammock slung for you.' 

" I thanked him, and descended to my state-room. 
Kent had left a message for me when she retired to 
call her when the gale was at the worst, whether it 
rained or not, though she was even then paying the cus- 
tomary first tribute of the landsman to the sea. My 
father, too, less fortunate than myself, was sea-sick, and 
had kept his berth during the day. What with the 
uneasy motion of the vessel, the hoarse, dull, husky 
sivash of the sea under the stern, the creaking of the 
bulkheads and the dull thumping of the rudder on its 
pintles, it was long ere I slept. Fatigue and drowsi- 
ness, however, carried the day, and I fell into a troubled 
sleep — if sleep it could be called ; for I remember hear- 
ing the cabin-boy, a little Bermudian, exclaiming 
' Caramba !' as he dropped the poker on his toes in the 
effort to stir the coal in the little cylinder stove. I 


heard the second mate, too, "when he came below and 
called Mr, Backstaff, the first officer, or mate. 

" 'How's the weather?' inquired Captain Spanker. 

" ' About the same, sir. Blowing rather harder, though ; 
and I think there'll be more wind before there's less.' 

" ' Call me, Mr. Backstaff, if it blows any harder. 
And, by the by, clap a preventer on the weather yard- 
arm of that topsail yard. I see that the riggers rove 
the old brace.' 

" As the 'short, small chimes of day,' as Tom Hood 
calls them, came on, I slept more soundly, and it was 
broad day when I awoke. I had not been long on 
deck before I was joined by Kent and my father. 
The wind was still freshening, and the ocean was white 
with foam. The officers, I noticed, looked a shade 
graver than common as they looked aloft and to wind- 
ward, scanning every brace and stay, and every change 
in the eastern sky. There was no visible sunrise, but, 
instead, a driving mist, that covered us and ran off in 
drop3 to the slippery deck. 

" ' I sha'n't be able to give ye yer cup o' coffee this 
mornin', Mr. Backstaff,' said the cook, who had come 
aft to make his apology. ' The sea makes such a 
darnation mess on't in the galley that it aint no man- 
ner of use tu try tu du nothin' ! I'm afraid I shall hev 
to give ye a dinner o' cold salt junk and biscuit, too ; 
for I can't keep no water in the coppers.' 

" ' Very good, Ezekiel. Do the best you can for us.' 

"And that functionary retreated to his official duties. 

" ' I'm afraid you'll miss Mr. 's excellent din- 
ners,' said Captain Spanker to Kent. 

"'By no means. I wouldn't have missed seeing this 
for a thousand dinners. And with my present sensa- 

110 nag's head. 

tions, I should be content to be on short allowance, I 
think you call it, for a week.' 

" Night came, and the gale had not abated. I turned 
out at midnight, when the captain and second mate 
were called for the mid-watch, and went on deck. The 
wind had hauled more to the northward, and was blow- 
ing almost a hurricane. I had been on deck but a few 
minutes, when, with a report like thunder, the main- 
topsail burst from the bolt ropes. 

" ' Call the watch !' shouted the captain, as he took 
the wheel. i Call all hands !' added he, as the second 
mate ran forward. The mate had heard the noise, and 
came on deck just as Captain Spanker had got the 
wheel up. 

" ' We must get her before the wind, Mr. Backstaff, 
and scud her while we bend the new main-staysail. Was 
the foresail reefed last night before it was furled V 

"'Yes, sir.' 

" ' Well, then, give her the foresail.' 

"The customary 'Ay, ay, sir!' was the reply, and 
the mate went forward. A ' hand' was soon on the 
yard, and, with the necessary precautions, the foresail 
was loosed and set. We had been fortunate enough to 
get the barque before the wind without the sea once 
making a breach over her. The main-staysail was now 
got up from the sail-room, and snugly bent. 

" 'We must try to head her to again, Mr. Backstaff,' 
said the captain. 'I don't want to get too far to the 
south'ard. She lays to so well that I don't want to scud 
her as long as we can show any canvass. Can you get 
in that foresail V 

" ' I'll try, sir. Lay aloft there, for'ard, and furl the 


" Half a score of men sprang into the rigging, the 
second mate leading the way. It was a sight of 
shivering terror to me, as I believe it is to most lands- 
men, to see their dusky forms, looking in the darkness 
like so many ghosts, in their silent ascent to the yard. 
They were speedily upon the foot-ropes. The mate, with 
the cook and steward, and another hand who had re- 
mained on deck, had manned the clue-garnets, leech- 
lines, and buntlines, and the sail was snugly brailed to 
the yard. The shrill voice of the second mate, as he was 
making up the bunt of the sail, and the cheerful response 
of the men, reassured me. The sail had already been 
gathered snugly on the yard, and two or three of the 
men were already in the rigging, when, above the hissing 
of the gale among the cordage, I heard, in tones that 
froze the blood in my veins, 

'"A man overboard !' 

"A faint, sickening sensation was stealing upon me 
as I stood speechless and helpless with the shock, when 
a voice from forward shouted, 

" ' No, sir ! he's safe. He caught the backstay as he 
fell V 

" The man was passing the gasket, and, thinking he had 
gathered in all the slack of it, was hauling it with both 
hands. It i rendered,' and he fell. Luckily, he was 
just opposite the backstays — the yard having been 
braced to the wind — and caught one of them as he fell. 

" Oh, what a dismal, comfortless night it must have 
been to the men ! — chilly, rainy, restless, sleepless ! 
How little is known of the hardships of the sea ! The 
gale continued. The next day we passed a boat with 
spars and sails lashed in it, a barrel of flour, and other 
objects that proved the severity of the gale. The fol- 

112 nag's head. 

lowing day the gale abated. The sea went down, and 
we were able to show a little more canvas. An observa- 
tion at noon gave us the latitude of Cape Henry, and 
we stood in for the land. The day was warm and 
sunny, and my father and Kent, with the captain's 
wife, and little Dora, her daughter, came on deck and 
basked in the sun. 

" ' Shall we have good weather now?' asked Mrs. 
Spanker, addressing the captain. 

" ' I'm afraid not, my dear. I don't half like the 
looks of things to the nor'ard an' east'ard.' 

" He was right. The gale had but lulled; and at night 
it blew again more furiously, as it seemed to me, than 

" ' I wish we had bent that new topsail, rough as it has 
been to-day, ' said Captain Spanker as he went below. 
6 Call me, Mr. Backstaff, if anything happens. We are 
a good deal nearer the banks than I care to be in a 
gale like this.' 

" The bark lay to during the night, and rode easily. 
We were, however, drifting rapidly southward and west- 
ward, and I saw that the officers were getting uneasy at 
so near an approach to the dreaded Hatteras. The 
dawn of another day brought us no hope of better 
weather, and, to fill the cup of our miseries, Mr. Back- 
staff, who had climbed to the mizzen-top at sunset, came 
hastily down and whispered to the captain, 

" i Land under our lee, sir, in plain sight! The Kill- 
devil Hills, sir, I believe.' 

" ' I feared as much,' said the captain. ' And unless 
the wind hauls farther to the north'ard, we are lost. 
Call the people aft, Mr. Backstaff.' 

" < Ay, ay, sir.' 


" Our situation was now explained to the men, and 
orders were given to make every possible preparation 
for the worst. 

" < Will she bear the foresail, Mr. Backstaff?' 

" i Not a minute, sir.' 

" ' Lash the helm hard a-lee, and call all hands to the 

" The order was executed. And but few minutes 
had elapsed ere every one of that little company was 
gathered around the captain in the little cabin. I had 
from the first been much impressed by the quiet dignity 
and self-possession, no less than by the almost court- 
like urbanity, of Captain Spanker. The same calmness 
was manifested, too, during the previous storm. But 
never had I seen a finer subject for an artist than the 
presence of the captain, as he sat in the silent cabin 
with the Book of books upon his knee. He had laid 
aside his dripping tarpaulin. The long and damp, 
though thin, hair hung in silvery clusters over his ample 
brow, and his mien seemed almost patriarchal. 

" He read in a low, but calm and steady, voice the ac- 
count of Christ's stilling the tempest. We knelt while 
he offered up a fervent prayer to the Great and Good, 
the Father of us all, that, if it were possible, the cup 
might pass from us; and I felt, as I rose, that, if the 
Deity ever interposed to vary or restrain the laws which 
govern the works of his hands, he could do so at the 
instance of such a man, and, at such an awful hour, say 
to the sea, < Peace ! be still!' 

" A hymn was sung. We grasped each other's hands 
for the last parting. The captain's wife threw her arms 
around his neck, and sobbed and wept in a delirium of 
agony. And my poor father, my adored Kent — : oh how 


114 nag's head. 

bitterly I repented what then seemed to me such folly, 
such infatuation as I had been guilty of, in going on 
board the ill-fated vessel ! We huddled more closely 
together. The officers and crew went on deck, and we 
were left alone. There was no longer any disguise, and 
with Kent pressed to my heart I sat awaiting the terri- 
ble crisis. 

" What an hour was that which succeeded! The gale 
seemed to have been gathering its mightiest energies 
for its last expiring, convulsive struggle. The tempest 
literally howled around us, hissed through the strained 
rigging, and swept with a November-like I sugh' at 
intervals, that added intensity to the horrors of night, 
and storm, and darkness. The bulkheads creaked and 
groaned as the barque plunged heavily in the sea; and 
it was with difficulty that we could hear one another in 
conversation. My father was pale and grave, but calm ; 
and as we sat, with my hand in his own, he said to me, 
' Be firm, my son; all hope is not yet lost. And when 
the worst comes to the worst,' added he, in a whisper 
in my ear, ' both our efforts will of course be for her.' 

u A silent pressure of the hand was my only reply. 
It had scarcely been given when Mr. Backstaff came 
below, and said, 

" ' It is time you were on deck. We are nearing the 
land, and, unless I am mistaken, the hills I see are those 
of Jockey's Ridge, a little above Nag's Head. If so, 
the beach is of sand, without a rock as big as a gull's 
egg for leagues. So much for the hopeful side of the 
matter. I need scarcely remind you that we are still in 
the most imminent danger, and that nothing less than 
a miracle can prevent the Minerva from going ashore.' 

" We followed him on deck. The roar of the breakers 


was already audible. Lights were moving along the 
shore, and, from appearances, our situation was known 
to the bankers. Lashings were now passed. Spars, 
gratings, and the hencoop (which had been knocked 
into three or four pieces) lay on deck in readiness for 
the emergency. 

" \ Up with your helm !' said Captain Spanker to the 
man at the wheel. 

"< Ay, ay, sir!' 

" The Minerva fell off, and in a few minutes we were 
standing in directly for the land. 

"' Take care of yourselves, all now!' said the cap- 
tain ; 'and may God have mercy upon us !' 

"Those who are familiar with the coast know perfect- 
ly well that, regular as is the beach in its soundings, 
there are places where there are three or four fathoms 
of water within as many fathoms of the shore. Into one 
of these places, as if some good angel were guiding her, 
did the Minerva run, and her flying-jib-boom was far 
up over the beach when she struck. Crash went her 
masts over the bows ! 

" ' Forward, all of you, for your lives !' shouted 
Captain Spanker, as he bore his wife and child away. 

" Catching Kent in my arms, I sprang after him. It 
was well that I did so ; for, as I reached the windlass, a 
huge wave came curling over the stern, and sent the 
spray over our heads, while the foaming water filled the 
deck, and was as high as the palls of the windlass 
where we stood. So firmly was the vessel's keel im- 
bedded in the sand that she did not broach to, and, as 
she was relieved of her spars, she did not at once keel 
over. A rude bridge was made of the fallen top-hamp- 
er, and with the single exception of one of the fore- 

116 nag's head. 

mast hands, we were all safely landed on the beach. 
He, poor fellow, was crushed beneath the spars when the 
Minerva struck. 

" Surrounding some three or four carts, on the beach, 
were a score of the bankers of both sexes. A lady, who 
was so closely hooded that I could not discern her features, 
and who had been particularly active in her exertions to 
get us safely off the wreck, invited us very cordially to 
accompany her home. The others were no less hospitable. 
She hoped, at least, she said, that the ladies and the 
gentlemen with them would consider her house their own 
so long as they might be pleased to stay. 

" To be brief. In half an hour, Captain Spanker and 
his lady and child, my father, Mr. Backstaff, the second 
mate, Kent, and myself were surrounding a blazing fire, 
at the hospitable residence of Mrs. . 

"The removal of the*hood revealed to us — not a very 
handsome, certainly — but decidedly a fine face. The 
figure and dress and manner were unexceptionable. 
We remained there a fortnight. My father seemed in 
no haste to get away. The Minerva was fully insured. 
Captain Spanker's misfortune had not affected his repu- 
tation with the owners, and a letter came from them 
offering him another vessel whenever he chose to take 
charge of her. 

" When we next visited Nag's Head, Mrs. had 

become Mrs. C , and Kent Robinson had assumed 

the same appellation. My father took a sudden fancy 
to the cultivation of cotton, and accordingly sold the 
Maryland homestead, and removed to his wife's planta- 
tion in Bertie. 

" Everything, you see, Mr. Seaworthy, to keep me 
here ; and here I shall probably have the vital principle 


shaken out of me by these North Carolina chills ! By 
the by," added he, as we separated, " remember that you 
are to dine with me to-morrow. At four, if you please; 
and so a.u plaisir !" 


" Sopor fessos complectitur artus." 

A very paradise is Nag's Head for the sleeper ; for 
the dreamer, the empyrean. At dawn of day, take thy 
farewell of old Somnus in such wise as to retain thy place 
in his good graces, for his sworn foe, Noise, gets the better 
of him in most of their battles. Din is the word for it. 
Pots, kettles, horses, dogs, geese, chickens, children, 
nurses, babies, invalids, and doctors all join in the matu- 
tinal hubbub. Some bear it philosophically ; some groan, 
some growl under the visitation^: some, with outward 
seeming of Christian resignation, submit, 

" all hopeless of relief, 

And curse the stars that had not made them deaf I" 

For myself, I am in the first category. It cannot be 

" Sic volvere Parcas V 

and in imaginary habiliment of sackcloth and figurative 
sprinkling of ashes, I bow to the grim necessity with 
what grace I may. 

I am digressing. As soon as you are up, there is 
regularly a proposition to bathe. The desperate-looking 
invalids you see on the battery in the morning at cock- 
crowing would here be certain to bathe. Everybody 
bathes. You would bathe here, good reader. There's 
no escaping it. 

118 nag's head. 

Well, bathing will occupy the time until breakfast. 
Then you will go to the bowling-alley, or ride, or walk, 
or fish, or visit until dinner ; and your peregrinations 
through the sand will assuredly bring fatigue and an 
appetite. A siesta towards night will partially recruit 
you. But then comes bathing, in a second edition. 
Then comes the walk on the sea-beach ; a fair form, a 
bright eye, a voice " so soft, so clear," and the natu- 
ral mesmerism of young hearts — ay, and old ones, for 
the heart "never all grows old!" — that consume the 
time until the saloon wakes drowsily from the repose of 
the day, and relaxes its grim visage into an unmistak- 
able smile. You dance until you begin to think of 

Dr. A 's last advice and prescription, and are 

afraid to look at the clock, and then you dig your way, 
with desperate, teeth-set energy, through the dry, 
yielding, cringing, shrinking, nerve-depressing sand, 

There arrived, you step stealthily up the stairs, (un- 
less the family use a ladder!) and go to bed. And now 
do all things conspire to lull you to repose. Night is 
in full empire ; and 

"Night is the time for rest ; 

How sweet, when labors close, 
To draw around an aching breast 

The curtain of repose ! 
Stretch the tired limbs ; and lay the head 
Upon our own delightful bed!" 

Old ocean's day growl has softened into what the re- 
lenting god of the sea intends to be considered a sort 
of lullaby (such an one, mayhap, as Polyphemus might 
have thundered to a young Cyclops, inclined to be rest- 
less with croup or measles) ; somnolent sounds and sights 


are all around you. The long-drawn breath, the inci- 
pient snore, the flickering light of your expiring candle, 
and the smile on the face of your fellow-lodger (every- 
body has fellow-lodgers at Nag's Head) ! 

"As if sweet spirits 
Suggested pleasant fancies to his soul," 

— all conspire to lull you to rest. One moment of the 
delicious sense of rest and of coming sleep, and you are 
in the land of dreams. 

In such wise did I sink to rest last night. I had been 
particularly busy all day. In the evening, a lady coaxed 
me to dance, and I walked homeward very decidedly 
under the witchery of the evening's recollections. An 
eye that would have coaxed Thomas a Kempis from his 
self-flagellation — a form such as Mussulmen see in their 
dreams of heaven — a step too light and elastic to make 
me quite certain that my partner in the dance was of 
" the things of earth," what wonder that I ran full tilt 
against the well-curb, fell up stairs, (causing the boy 
Isaac to cry "Fire!") and finally tried to hang up the 
candle and blow out my watch. 

I went to bed. I reflected a moment on the courage 
which I had displayed in daring to dance. 

" How sleep the brave who sink to rest," 

thought I, and straightway I was asleep. 

I dreamed. I was a traveler and on foot. The way 
was full of difficulties — as full, every whit, as the Pil- 
grim's Progress — and my companion was -. She 

was an invalid ; but she was mine. I was no longer 
alone. I should no longer fetter the best impulses of 
my heart. I loved, and "was beloved again" by the 

120 nag's head. 

gentlest and best of God's creatures. How patient, and 
painstaking, and happy was I in supporting the weary 
step, and in removing every obstruction from the way ! 
There was no toil in such exertion ; for, though the lips 
kept obstinately still, the gentle eye met my own and 
thanked me right eloquently. And long years of toil 
and poverty ; a thousand hardships by land and sea ; 
the despairing weariness of half-paid toil; the hopes 
half-born and crushed ; the tear of bereavement ; the 
iron heel of power ; entrenched wrong ; the pang of 
disease ; — all were forgotten. The mystery was ex- 
plained. The Problem of Life was solved. And my cup 
of joy was full to overflowing. 

How long I thus slept and dreamed I know not ; but 
mistily there cometh to my recollection, as I try to 
recall it all, the dusky physiognomy of Old Jeff, as he 
appeared to me in the first faint gleaming in the morn- 
ing, and roused me from Elysian sleep with 
" Maussa Gregory ! Maussa Gregory !" 
" Eh ? hillo ! What is it ?" And again I slept. 

"Maussa Gregory! Maussa Greg !" 

"What in , what do you want now V 

"Maussa John's comp'ment to you, and wants to 
know if Maussa Gregory bin gwoin bathiri dis mornin' !" 

" May the Yes, Jeff; tell him I'll be most happy 

to go !" 

Months have passed, good reader. Yet there comes 
to me in loneliness and in dreams that same vision. 
Shall I not set up the Lares ? 



Sergeant Talfourd, in his inimitable "Ion," (I 
know it by heart almost,) makes King Adrastus say 
that, in the overpowering misfortunes of his early youth, 
he fled to the mountains, and 

" Struggled with the oak 
In search of weariness." 

I infer from this that there were no sand-hills in 
Argos ; for, if there be one species of bodily exertion 
which, more than walking in the sand, brings you the 
sense of weariness, I have it yet to add to my labor 
experiences. I have just returned from the heights 
(sand-hills) called Jockey's Ridge; and, as 1 walked, 
I am prepared to say that I began my walk homeward 
envious of the holiday amusement of Sisyphus and Ixion. 

As I walked along the beach, I perceived, at some 

distance, my friend Dr. A , with his cab and bays, 

and a bevy of ladies. As they came nearer, I discovered 
that there were two other vehicles in the rear. Accept- 
ing the doctor's very polite invitation (few people know 
so well how to give one), I took a seat. We fell to con- 
versing somehow on "practice," at Nag's Head; and 
the folio wiDg is a very imperfect sketch of Dr. A.'s 
description of his "practice" among the negroes. 

"You may set it down as an axiom," said he, "that 
you can never get a direct answer from a negro that 
will afford you the slightest clue as to what ails him. 
One of them came to me last evening." 

" < Well, Peter,' said I, ' what's the matter V 

"Tse sick!' 

122 nag's head. 

"'Of course. I suppesed you were sick, or you 
■wouldn't come to a physician. What ailsjouV 

" 'I feels mighty bad !' 

" ' Well how ? where V 

"'0 ! I'se got a mighty misery V 

" ' The devil take your misery ! Can't you tell me 
what ails you ? Have you got a colic ?' 

" ' Yes, maussa !' 

" 'Terrible pain in your head, haven't you?' 

" f Yes, maussa !' 

" ' A kind of aching in the small of your back ?' 

"'Yes, maussa !' 

" ' Well, you're in a bad stage of Kamtschatka cho- 
lera ! Here's a dose of salts for you !'" 

It was late when we returned. The twilight was 
deepening fast into night. The moon rose as I passed 
the bathing-house on my way home, and I stood for 
some time enjoying the gorgeous beauty of the scene. 
The full moon, lighting up the scattered clouds along 
the horizon — the waves glistening beneath — the breakers 
throwing their foam upon the beach — the gleaming of 
lights from the neighboring cottages — the wide waste of 
sand — all these I shall not soon forget. 

This is, indeed, a glorious climate ; and Nag's Head 
is a most charming place, in spite of the sand-hills, fever 
and ague, and other desagremens. As I pass day after 
day in almost uninterrupted sunshine, I can feel some 
of the enthusiasm of the young poet,* a native of North 
Carolina, who thus writes of the land of his sires : — 

" ! Carolina, Eden of the earth ! 
Land of my sires, and blest scene of my birth ! 
* * * * 

* W. H. Rhodes, Esq. 


A home where Raleigh's eagle-sighted eye 
Saw fields as bright as bloom beneath the sky ; 
Where swift Roanoke beholds around him smile 
Lands yet more fair than Deltas of the Nile ; 
Where Albemarle, with sweetened tides opprest, 
Allures each tribe of Ocean to her breast; 
Where Alleghany lifts his golden chain, 
And sends his tribute to the thirsty main." 

I am sorely tempted to erase every line of the above 
commendatory paragraphs about The Old North State. 

I had written thus far yesterday, when I heard C 


"0! Molly Bawn, why leave me pining ?" 

I laid down my pen, and, descending to the sitting- 
room, brought what little voice a recent chill had left 
me to his assistance. What with song and chat, the 
morning wore rapidly away. As the clock was on the 
stroke of twelve, it struck me that, for so sunny a day, 
in the middle of August, there was a most remarkable 
feeling of chilliness in the air. I called the ladies' at- 
tention to the fact. They had not noticed it. I went 
to the piazza to see if we had an east wind. To my 
surprise it was south-west. The chilliness increased, and 
it was not until my teeth were in a Harry Gill chatter 
that I " gave it up," and confessed that I had a verita- 
ble chill. Fever, opium, quinine, and other pleasant 
accompaniments succeeded, and I am, at this present 
writing, about the most emphatic commentary on cli- 
mate that can be conceived. 

I am interrupted by the pleasant voice of S -, who 

says to me very quietly, even as she would call me to 

124 nag's head. 

" Time to take the quinine, Mr. Seaworthy !" 
By the by, Julius Caesar must have had a " chill." 
For does not Cassius say 

"He had a, fever when he was in Spain?" 

It was, of course, after the chill ; for, says Cassius, 

" And, when the^ was on him, I did mark 
How lie did shake. * * * 

And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world, 
Did lose his lustre. * * * 
Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans 
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books, 
' Alas V it cried, ' Give me some drink, Titinius !' 
As a sick girl." 

Perhaps the worst feature of the chills (I have a 
treatise in preparation on the subject, for the medical 
world) is the surprise with which you become aware of 
their arrival ; very much such a feeling, I fancy, as the 
vizier's son must have felt when he found himself and 
his bride in Aladdin's chamber ; or, to come nearer 
home, the pleasurable sensation you feel on discovering 
that the bland, urbane gentleman, "with the white hat 
and the big stick," who has just addressed you and shaken 
your hand with such "distinguished consideration," is 
the sheriff! 

Scott somewhere tells a story of a certain abbess 
who preserved with religious care what she verily be- 
lieved to be the bottled tears of some saint departed 
this life in the faith. An Irishman (from Gal way, no 
doubt), suspected the same to be " mountain dew," or 
London dock ; and, to the utter surprise and horror of 
the good abbess, who beheld the sacrilege in speechless 
wonderment, coolly uncorked and drank it. In some 
such state of feeling is the man who, after "breaking" 


the chills with repeated doses of mercury and quinine, 
finds his teeth chattering some August noon, the ther- 
mometer at ninety-six, and his hlood at zero. 

You "walk the earth," sallow, thin, weak, nerve- 
less — almost lifeless ; your complexion the hue of a 
drum-head. You pay your dehts and make your will 
(these being the diagnostic features of the most danger- 
ous phase of your disease), and get angry with your 
friend, who bursts into a Cyclopian roar of laughter 
while you are whispering a last message for a particular 
friend — a lady, mayhap — very solemnly in his ear. 
And, with an assurance that a Carolinian " thinks him- 
self slighted," if he hasn't a touch of "the bilious" 
once a year, he leaves you to recover your spirits and 
your temper. Some lady friend — ten to one, 'tis a 
young lady — sends you a bouquet, and begs your friend 
to say to you, for her, that you need never expect 
another favor of the kind if you presume to have 
another chill. 

I feel that I am dilating at very considerable length 
upon this fertile theme. My friend Dr. A. distinguished 
himself at the close of his medical studies, by a thesis, 
a la Charles Lamb, on this same subject. If I have 
written with any of his own graphic power of delinea- 
tion, it is because of the same modest reason he gave 
me for the reception of his thesis ; the fact, namely, 
that he Wrote " out of the abundance of the heart." 
I have a sort of " weakness" for a chill, now, and it is 
with the emotions of " frater-feeling strong" swelling at 
my heart that I say vale! 

I will only prolong these remarks by saying that the 
legislature seems to me to have been culpably negligent 
in not levying a tariff " for revenue" on this expensive, 


126 nag's head. 

yet general luxury, so common, like salt and tea, to all 
classes of society. Possibly, it might be taxable on the 
principle of the (in this country) growing innovation in 
political economy, known as "the income tax." It 
might not be amiss to add, lest the suggestion should be 
misunderstood, that I am not a candidate for office. 

"And now farewell ! 'tis hard to give thee up V* 



Directly opposite Nag's Head, across Roanoke 
Sound) which is here something more than a league in 
breadth), is Roanoke Island. This Island, it will be 
remembered, is somewhat famous for being the spot on 
which the colonists, in Raleigh's second expedition, 
formed a settlement. The records of those days are 
full of massacres, murders, and other bloody scenes, on 
which it is almost sickening to dwell. They are but 
scanty; and therefore the remains of the fort, glass 
globes, containing quicksilver, and hermetically sealed 
and other relics occasionally discovered there, give rise 
to a thousand conjectures destined never to be solved. 

Roanoke is long, narrow, and low, but rendered 
beautiful by its groves and woods ; among which, as 
you sail along the shore, you discern at intervals the 
small roof and curling smoke of a fisherman's cottage. 
It abounds, too, in the native tea-plant (called the 


Yopon), and in the Scuppernong (I know not whether 
I spell it correctly) grape. 

As you land directly opposite Nag's Head, you enter 
a little thicket on the shore, and suddenly emerge into 
a little "clearing." Immediately in front of you is a 
snug little cottage belonging to one of the islanders, 
decidedly one of the tidiest and most comfortable I have 
seen for many a day. In front of it is a beautiful lawn 
containing a " grapery," underneath which you can 
stand and pluck the most delicious clusters until your 
appetite is cloyed with them. Roanoke Island is of 
course a place of much resort. I have myself visited it 
twice, and not without hope of paying it another visit. 
There are some fragments of legendary lore concerning 
it, which should not be lost. For one of these I am 
indebted to old Jack. 

"Is you ben to Roanoke Island, Maussa Seaworthy?" 
inquired he of me one day. 

"Yes, Jack." 

" Did you see Mister Etheredge — ole Adam Ethe- 


"Den you mought jis as well not ben gone at all." 

"Why, Jack?" 

"Why? In de fus place, he is de oldest man on de 
Island. Den he knows all about it, and 'bout de ole 
times. If you could jis hear de ole man tell what 
he's seen, and spin his long yarns dat his father and 
grand'ther tole him!" 

" So you have heard him telling his stories of old 
times V 

"Yes, indeed, maussa. And dere is one yarn, if 
you goes dere ag'in, you must ask him to spin for you." 

128 nag's head. 

"What is it, Jack?" 

"Why, 'bout Ellen Baum, de fisherman's darter? 
But, Lord bless your heart, maussa, you aint ben guoine 
to ask me to spin de yarn ?" 

"You may, if you please, Jack ; though I won't detain 
you. I may not be able to see the old gentleman, you 

"0 yes, maussa; you doesn't retain me at all," 
replied Jack, in an apologetic tone. "But Maussa Ethe- 
redge tell you so much better ; though I b'lieve I knows 
de story as well as he does himself, for I've done heard 
it so many times." 

As it would, perhaps, be tedious to the reader to 
peruse the story in Jack's vernacular, I have ventured 
to give it in my own language ; though I am well aware 
that it must necessarily lose thereby much of the point 
and effect which it owed to Jack's rare powers of nar- 
rative and description. I shall be a thousandfold re- 
paid for the labor of recording it, if it afford half the 
pleasure to the reader which it gave to me. 


Many years ago, there lived on Roanoke Island but 
a single man, of mature years. Daniel Baum, for 
such was his name, was a son of one of the adventurers 
who fled from religious persecution in Virginia, (for 
even the English Church did not escape the bigoted and 
intolerant spirit of the times,) and sought a quiet home 
on the shores of Albemarle Sound. They found what 
they sought: freedom to worship Grod in their own way; 
a grateful soil; a mild climate and generous fruits; to- 


gether with an unbounded supply of fish and game. 
They toiled; they prospered; they were happy. Their 
numbers increased in a ratio that would have alarmed 
Dr. Mai thus; and so orderly and exemplary were they 
in their civil and social relations, that for years they 
lived without any established code of laws. 

Conspicuous among them was old Zoeth Baum, a 
patriarch in age and wisdom, to whom they referred all 
controversies, civil, domestic, and religious. And right 
worthily was their confidence reposed in him. Without 
exaggeration might he have adopted the words of the 
patriarch of Uz, "When the ear heard me, then it 
blessed me ; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness 
to me; because I delivered the poor that cried, and the 
fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The 
blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me; 
and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put 
on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was 
as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and 
feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor; 
and the cause which I knew not I searched out. * * * 
Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at 
my counsel.'' 

But, prosperous as he had been, he was not without 
his share of the ills of life. It is ever the common lot — 
the "thorn in the flesh" — the skeleton at the feast — the 
Mordecai at the gate; and old Zoeth Baum was no ex- 
ception to the rule. Of his three sons and three daugh- 
ters, all had grown quietly up in the steadiness of good 
habits, and in the enjoyment of domestic happiness, with 
the exception of Daniel, the youngest of all. Whether 
or not it was the fact of his being the youngest, and 
therefore the pet, we will not stop to inquire. Certain 

130 nag's head. 

it was that the boy manifested, from his earliest years, 
an impatience of control that did not bode well for his 
future character. Did the housekeeper hide his whip 
or his ball? The shears, or the tongs, or a billet of 
wood were the ready and certain means of redress; and 
then came the report, the stern and impatient inquiry 
that would not hear the boy's defence, and then the 
spirit-crushing and degrading whip. 

Daniel manifested, too, as he grew up, a marked fond- 
ness for hunting and fishing, especially the latter; and, 
to fill up the cup of his iniquities, among so primitive 
and simple a people, he betrayed a strong attachment 
to an old violin which he had purchased of a strolling 
musician. In those early days, men were valued and 
respected for the clear head, the honest heart, and the 
strong arm; and had Mozart, or Handel, or Beethoven 
lived among them, he would have been shunned as a 
worthless vagabond — as a heathen man and a publican. 
Old Zoeth Baum was passionately fond of music, and 
there were few evenings in the year that he did not call 
on his children to sing for him. They had, by the as- 
sistance of the eldest sister, attained sufficient skill to 
read music and carry their parts independently. Strange 
as it may seem, however, (and old Zoeth Baum was not 
alone in the senseless and unreasonable prejudice,) much 
as he loved music in the abstract, there was no single 
devotee of the art whom he did not despise from the bot- 
tom of his heart. 

Instead, therefore, of suffering the boy to follow the 
bent of his humor, and endeavoring to encourage him 
to seek eminence in his favorite path, people did then 
as they do now-a-days. They turned a frowning face 
on the boy, and his temper became soured, and his 


habits became unsteady; and the pharisaical passed by 
him, as one "joined to his idols," and fit to be "let 
alone." How many a warm heart and ambitious spirit 
has thus been crushed into sullen desperation, or apathy, 
or stung into remonstrance, resistance, crime, and dis- 
grace ! 

The boy would not be controlled. He grew more and 
more shy and reserved, and spent days, and sometimes 
weeks, in his favorite sports. To crown all, he won the 
heart and hand of Susan Morrison, the belle of the 
colony. The secret of his absence from home was now 
explained. Roanoke Island was the property of his 
father; and, when absent on his sporting excursions, he 
had built, with the assistance of an old servant who was 
devoted to him, a comfortable cabin, and supplied it 
with the rude but serviceable furniture then in almost 
universal use. To avoid the storm which, he well knew, 
would follow the elopement, he carried his wife imme- 
diately to Roanoke. To her father and brothers, who 
followed him to recover the lost one, Daniel coolly 
showed the muzzles of a brace of muskets at the win- 
dow; and after some parley the pursuers retreated. De- 
votedly attached to the affectionate girl who had con- 
sented to share the lot of one held so generally in ill 
repute, Daniel now became industrious and steady. The 
parents and friends of both were at length reconciled. 
His father gave him the island, and the parents of 
Susan showered upon her every article of comfort and 
luxury which it was in their power to bestow. 

An only daughter was the fruit of their union. Ellen 
Baum grew up more beautiful, if possible, than her 
mother had been. She was a golden-haired, laughing, 
romping, happy-hearted girl as ever trod the greensward. 

182 nag's head. 

Besides the more feminine accomplishments which her 
mother had been able to teach her, she became expert 
in the management of the boats, in shooting, fishing, 
riding, and making of seines and other fishing-gear. 
She sang sweetly, accompanying herself on an old 
Spanish guitar, somewhat dilapidated, indeed, for it 
had been an heirloom in the family, but a most excel- 
lent instrument. 

Anon came Ellen Baum's sixteenth birthday. A lit- 
tle party had been made up in honor of the occasion, 
and a score of old friends from the mainland. Old 
Zoeth Baum was there, with his broad high forehead, 
smiling serenity and happiness on all. Dignity and 
form were laid aside. Daniel Baum took up the violin, 
unchid by an unkindly glance ; his wife looked as young 
and as gay almost as she had done at twenty; and 
pretty Ellen Baum was the presiding genius who threw 
the light of joy over the festivities of the day. Many 
a youth was there, on the mainland, who had dared to 
breathe in her ear the oft-repeated words of dalliance 
and love; but apparently in vain. No blush, no flutter 
of excitement, no lowering of the lids of the most beau- 
tiful eyes in the world, ever gave her mother the sus- 
picion even that her heart was not wholly with her 
parents. And yet never was there breathed aught like 
a charge of heartlessness or coquetry against Ellen 
Baum. What was a still better test of her character 
was the fact that the most envious of the rival belles in 
the colony loved her as if she had been a sister. 

A most ample dinner was provided; for Daniel Baum's 
uniform industry and economy had made him the pos- 
sessor of a moderate fortune ; and the tables groaned 
beneath the abundance of the feast. Wine, too, there 


was in plenty, manufactured from the native grape; and 
the guests fed much as Scott's heroes feed, in his tales 
of the olden time. 

As they rose from the table, old John Morrison, the 
maternal grandfather of our heroine, sauntered to the 
door, and called to a servant for his pipe. He was soon 
joined by Zoeth Baum and his son; and they sat long 
over their pipes, talking of the past, while the young 
men were playing at football in an adjoining field. 

" Bless me !" exclaimed John Morrison, as he knocked 
the ashes out of his pipe; " how dark it has grown all at 
once! ISTeighbor Baum," added he, addressing the old 
gentleman, "it is time we were going home. There'll 
be wind enough and to spare, and rain too, before morn- 
ing. The sooner we're off the better, I'm thinking." 

"No, sir! On your allegiance to me as queen of this 
day's ceremonies, I charge both, as good and loyal sub- 
jects, to stay," said Ellen Baum, who had come to the 
door unperceived. 

"You might as well stay," added her father, seeing 
the two old gentlemen undecided. "It'll be dark be- 
fore you can get home, and I wouldn't care to be off 
Alligator to-night myself; and I'm something younger 
than either of you." 

"Stay, won't you?" said Mrs. Baum. "Both mo- 
ther and Mrs. Morrison say they wouldn't dare to cross 
the Sound to-night. Besides, we expected you all to 
stay; for we're going to have a dance after supper, and 
I shall be vexed if you go." 

And, as a matter of course, they decided to remain. 

A little fire was kindled ; for, though it was then the 

Indian Summer, and there had been no fire during the 

day, the evenings were chilly, and a fire was indispens- 


134 nag's head. 

able. Supper was eaten, and the tables removed. High 
piled the j the wood in the huge old-fashioned fireplace; 
and, as the storm gathered, the wind whistling its wild 
and fitful tune in every cranny, and the big rain-drops 
pattering musically against the panes, the home-fire 
blazed "broad, and bright, and high," throwing its 
cheerful smile over the merriest group of faces that 
had ever been seen on Roanoke. Daniel Baum lifted 
his well-worn violin from its case with much the same 
affectionate care that he would use in lifting a new-born 
infant from the cradle, and, with a few preliminary 
flourishes, struck the life-inspiring air of " Speed the 

"Come, friend Morrison," said old Zoeth Baum, "I 
s'pose we must lead the way;" and, offering his hand to 
Madame Morrison, he led her upon the floor. John 
Morrison was in nowise reluctant to comply with his 
neighbor's request ; and Madame Baum, the elder, de- 
clining to dance, he successfully made overtures to the 
younger matron. The set was soon formed. Air fol- 
lowed air, dance followed dance ; and if the admirers of 
Ellen Baum had before been fascinated, they were on 
this occasion bewildered by her grace, her good humor, 
her tact, that made everybody pleased with himself, and 
the genuine kindness of heart that suffered no occasion 
of conferring a kindness to escape unimproved. 

Midnight found the dancers still in high feather. The 
storm had increased to more than usual fury; but it was 
unheeded. The flush of happy excitement was on the 
cheeks of all ; 

" The roof rung with voices light and loud *" 

iid the strains of the music were mingling happily with 


the hum of voices, when suddenly a vivid flash of light- 
ning illuminated the darkness, and was almost instanta- 
neously followed by a clap of thunder that shook the 
cottage to its foundations. 

The dance ceased. 

" My children," said old Zoeth Baum, " we have 
passed a happy day. The night is now half gone, and 
it is time that all of "us, young and old, should retire to 
rest. The great and good Father of us all has crowned 
us with blessings, and for his kind care over us these 
many years, let us not forget to return our thanks." 

The sounds of merriment were hushed. A table was 
placed in the centre of the room ; candles were placed 
upon it ; and Ellen Baum took the old family Bible, 
covered carefully with green baize, from its nook in the 
book-case, and gave it to her grandfather. Adjusting 
his spectacles carefully, he opened the sacred volume at 
the story of Naaman, and read the whole to the atten- 
tive listeners. A hymn followed : those beautiful words, 

" Thy goodness, Lord, doth crown the year ; 
Thy paths drop fatness all around ; 
And barren wilds in thee rejoice, 
And vocal hills return the sound/' 

The strains of the hymn ceased, and all knelt in prayer. 
The heart of old Zoeth Baum was full. He spoke of 
the days of other years, when a little company of exiles 
sought a home in the wilderness. He acknowledged the 
goodness which had blessed them all in basket and store. 
Children had grown up around them to cheer and com- 
fort their declining years. The field had yielded them 
its golden sheaves of rustling corn ; the trees had bent 

136 nag's head. 

low with their burden of fruit ; the vine had yielded its 
increase, and their flocks had multiplied many-fold. And 
when, as he recounted all these gifts of a bountiful Pro- 
vidence, and said, in fullness of heart, " Father ! we 
thank thee !" the big tears chased one another over 
those furrowed cheeks in eloquent attestation of the 
earnestness and sincerity with which he uttered the 

He spoke of those who were kneeling with him at the 
family altar ; the young and the old ; the son whom he 
had once thought lost, now industrious and happy; and, 
last of all, of her whose birthday they had met to com- 
memorate. " To thy care, Father!" said he, in tones 
that quivered as he spoke, " we commit her. We pray 
not that thou wouldst take her out of the world, but 
that thou wouldst keep her from the evil. May thy 
choicest blessings ever fall upon her pathway in life, and 
thy grace descend upon her heart as the small rain upon 
the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass ! 
And now, Father, to thee do we commend all sorts and 
conditions of men: the broken in heart; the erring and 
the guilty; the prisoner in his narrow cell; the sufferer 
on the couch of sickness ; the mariner in this pitiless 
storm, tossing leagues away in the darkness of the an- 
gry sea. Let thy blessing rest upon this hospitable 
roof, and may we who here kneel to thee for thy bless- 
ing rest in peace ! We ask all in the name of him who 
hath taught us, when we pray, to say, ' Our Father who 
art in heaven.' " 

And he repeated the Lord's Prayer, the worshipers 
uniting with him. 

" Good-night, my son!" said he, as he rose to retire. 
" Good-night, my daughter ! Good-night, friends ! El- 


len, my darling, my kiss before I go! — Hark! eh? 
Wasn't that a gun ? There's a vessel in the offing in 
distress. What can we do ?" 

"We will see," replied Dp^niel Bauni, tying on his 

" But you don't think of trying to cross the Sound to 
Nag's Head, on such a night as this?" 

"And why not, my dear father? I've crossed it in as 
severe a storm as this. The wind is from the south'ard, 
about sou'-southeast, and I can run across in half an 
hour. There's no room for a sea, you know, with the 
wind in this quarter ; and with a balance reef in her 
mainsail, the Ellen will live anywhere." 

Much against the remonstrances of all save his wife, 
who had implicit confidence (and with reason) in her 
husband's judgment and skill, Daniel Baum selected 
three of the robust young men, and, loosing his favorite 
boat from her moorings, got under way for the eastern 
shore of the Sound. Well was it, that night, for Daniel 
Baum that he had kept his boat and her rigging and 
sails in good repair ; for, with all her seaworthy quali- 
ties, and with his utmost skill, she was more than once 
nigh swamping. No wonder, then, that the party landed 
less than a league to the southward of Collington Island. 
Fortunately, however, they had landed abreast of the 
ill-fated vessel ; and, securing the boat by hauling her 
"high and dry" upon the shore, they set off at a brisk 
pace through the woods towards the ocean. A walk of 
about one mile brought them to the beach. And there, 
with her broadside exposed to the fury of the storm, her 
spars gone by the board, lay the hull of a large ship. 
All around is Egyptian darkness. There are no signs 
of life, either on the shore or on the wreck. In the roar 


138 nag's head. 

of the breakers no cry can be heard, and in their fury 
they would render any attempt to reach the vessel worse 
than useless. The foam throws a dim light upon some 
objects floating in the surf, but not enough to define 
their form ; while, overhead, the dark masses of clouds 
are rushing headlong on their airy path. The breakers 
come tumbling in masses of foam — 

"Exultant que vada, atque aestu miscentur araense." 

As they stood upon the shore, uncertain what to do, 
a sudden flash of lightning revealed to their gaze a most 
appalling spectacle. Several bodies, lifeless to all ap- 
pearance, were discernible in the surf; and directly in 
front of them the waves dashed a spar within a fathom 
of where they stood. To this were lashed two persons ; 
one a girl, who, by her appearance, could not have been 
more than twelve years of age, and the other a young 
man, probably some six or eight years her senior. Com- 
missioning two of his companions to rescue any others 
that might be thrown upon the beach, Daniel Baum and 
Wilson Morrison resorted to the usual means in order 
to restore animation. To their delight, they were suc- 
cessful ; and, as similar efforts on the part of their com- 
panions had been of no avail, the bodies which had been 
thrown upon the shore were placed beyond the reach of 
the tide. Rude litters, of drift-wood, were then con- 
structed; and, placing the youth and the girl upon them, 
they set forth on their way homeward, with the inten- 
tion of paying a second visit to the sea-shore in the 

It was not yet day when they reached the cottage. 
With the aid of warm flannels, friction, and the use of 
gentle stimulants, the sufferers were restored to con- 


sciousness, and soon sank into a profound sleep. The 
gale abated as the day dawned, and another party visit- 
ed the wreck. Three bodies more were rescued from 
the water; but they had evidently been dead for several 
hours. The remainder of the ship's company, it was 
subsequently discovered, had been drowned in the cabin 
and forecastle. 

A week passed away. The bodies of the unfortunate 
mariners had been interred. The guests had returned 
to their homes ; while the strangers had recovered from 
the consequences of the storm, had written home, and 
were expecting their friends to arrive in the course of 
the next fortnight. Aside from the gratitude they felt 
towards the inmates of the cottage, Edward Merrill and 
his sister Alice had already learned to regard them all 
with a warmer feeling. No one, indeed, could resist the 
influence of the honesty, kindness, and delicacy which 
distinguished Daniel Baum and his wife, while Ellen 
had unconsciously added another to her many conquests. 
The young people had walked together, rode together, 
sailed together, and were getting to be " coupled and 
inseparable." What wonder that they loved ? 

A fortnight passed, and there was yet no intelligence 
from home. The ensuing week, however, would, out of 
all question, bring Mr. Merrill, and Edward was begin- 
ning to ask himself if it were possible for him to leave 
Roanoke. It was Sabbath evening ; and Ellen had ac- 
companied him in a walk along the shore to a point 
where an oak hung over a steep bank, with a vine en- 
veloping its branches, and hanging down well nigh to 
the ground. 

"Ellen," said he, timidly, "it is scarcely probable 
that I shall remain here more than a day or two longer. 

140 nag's head. 

I cannot leave you without asking you again if there 
be no way in which I can serve you or yours; without 
thanking you, once more, for all your kindness, and tell- 
ing you how grateful we are, and — and — " 

" We have but done our duty, and for that we do 
not deserve thanks.'' 

" But there has been something more than the mere 
performance of duty. There have been kindness, and 
gentleness, and I know not what that has won the heart 
of my sister Alice — and mine, too, Ellen. Dear Ellen, 
I love you !'' 

There was no reply. But, trembling like an aspen 
leaf, Ellen Baum stood with eyes downcast, and her 
little foot making divers figures in the sand. 

" Have I offended you? Answer me, Ellen ! Speak 
to me ! Forgive me if I have caused you a moment's 
pain. Believe me, dearest Ellen, I love you ! Better 
than my life, I love you!'' 

And again there was no reply ; but the gentle girl, 
now assured of his love, and partially recovered from 
the momentary excitement, lifted her soft eyes to his 
own with an expression to which he gave a most liberal 
interpretation ; for the next instant she was pressed to 
a heart that had never known one throb which its 
owner need have blushed to reveal. And there, in 
the soft light and mild air of that November sunset, 
plighted they their troth. A clear, low voice inter- 
rupted the closing ceremony of the compact with a 
"Why, brother Edward!" and a laugh that woke the 
woods around with its musical echoes. 

The rest is soon told. Henry Merrill's father was a 
merchant in Boston. The son and sister were going 
with Captain C , in one of their father's ships, to 


Cuba, and the governess who had embarked as a com- 
panion for Alice was drowned at the time of the wreck. 
Old Zoeth Baum died soon afterwards, and Daniel 
Baum and his wife were prevailed upon, with no little 
difficulty, to accompany the Merrills to Boston. The 

traveler on the railroad from Boston to ma J? to 

this day, see Ellen Baum and her group of manly sons 
and lovely daughters, two of the latter having families 
of their own. But the golden hair, the joyous laugh, 
the " springing motion in her gait," her beauty, in 
short all save the affectionate, earnest, eloquent eye 
that wins, as it won in youth, the hearts of all who 
meet her, are gone. Daniel Baum rests beside the 
remains of his sire, which he had taken from their first 
resting-place, some years before his own death. May 
they rest in peace ! 



I know of no feature of life in the south better 
worthy of close observation and the most thorough study 
than the condition and character of the negroes. Who- 
ever does not so observe and study fails to understand 
the most important parts of the great machine of social 
life, and must be wholly ignorant of the manner and 
source of its action. If the stranger be an abolitionist, 
whatever be his benevolence, his sincerity, and his zeal, 

142 nag's head. 

without careful study of the negro character they would 
be, to a great extent, lost, because of the ignorance of 
his benefactor. If, on the contrary, you look upon 
slavery as an institution permitted by the Deity, as one 
of the grades of social life, most assuredly are the 
habits, feelings, tastes, and condition of the negro 
worthy of careful study. 

I find, in the intercourse of master and servant here, 
far more genuine kindness and sympathy on the part of 
the master than at the North. There is no hesitation 
in the cordial shake of the hand, when they meet after 
a short absence. There is no uneasy feeling as to what 
Mrs. Grundy will say if you are seen talking, walking, 
or riding with a negro. There is none of the fawning 
servility on the part of the latter which distinguishes 
so many of their brethren at the North. The sick are 
carefully provided for. The idle and the vicious usually 
escape with far less than their deserved punishments. 
During the seven months of my residence in Carolina, 
I have seen but one house-servant struck; and the 
blow was a box on the ear. The only other instance I 
have seen was that of a vicious slave flogged at the 

I am not about to discuss the subject of slavery, or to 
defend the institution. I will only add that it gives me 
pleasure to say that I find the condition and treatment 
of the slaves a thousandfold better than I expected. 

It was my purpose, merely, in devoting a chapter to 
The Servants, to give some account of some two or 
three with whom I was most in contact, And first, 
there is 



Her peculiar province, in the domestic empire, is the 
laundry. You may see her almost any day of the week, 
and almost any time of the day, standing just outside 
the kitchen door, underneath a dilapidated porch that 
looks as if it were ready to fall upon her head. She has 
an old pipe in her mouth, none of the freshest and 
tidiest in appearance, I am sorry to say; and before her 
is either the washing-tub or the ironing-table. She is a 
sort of matriarch among the negroes; all of them fearing 
or liking her. Taciturn, prompt, decided, there is a flash 
in her black eye that inspires all the other servants with 
a very decided respect. JSTo one thinks of playing or 
trifling with Old 'Titia, (Letitia is the full name, I take 
it ;) and even her master and mistress show her more 
deference than is often seen in the treatment of the do- 

For her physique, she is strongly made, and above 
the middle height. To me, her head is the subject of 
most frequent observation. Ordinarily, the rebellious 
curls are tied down, gathered compulsorily in a knot at 
the back of the head ; but, of a Sabbath-day, or when 
we have company, the ebon locks stand out manfully for 
their rights, spread in unfettered luxuriance, and give 
her much the appearance of the Pythoness in furore, 
or a South Sea Islander prepared for a dance, as we 
see her depicted in the old geographies. On such occa- 
sions, there is a deepening of the wrinkles between the 
eyebrows, more than wonted dignity of gait, and a 
swing that would not disgrace Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Old 'Titia is a sort of Dido in the domestic Carthage, 

144 nag's head. 

"instans operi." Ever and anon, in the most of her toil, 
she hums snatches of old hymns in a low, monotonous 
key. Little Simon, the baby of the kitchen, sometimes 
tunes his pipes by way of accompaniment ; but an ad- 
monitory "Hush!" a glance of those sharp eyes, and a' 
raising of the forefinger, usually discourage that minia- 
ture colored gentleman from any further manifestations 
of his musical skill. 

She is strictly honest. I would trust her with any 
amount of money. She loves a joke, and enjoys it with 
infinite relish. Better than all, I believe her to be 
truly a Christian. Such is Old 'Titia. During my 
illness, hers was the hand on which I most confidently 
relied for the many wants of the sick-room. Her 
look was full of kindness, her step noiseless, her voice 
low and musical, and her vigilance and attention were 
unremitting. May her shadow never be less ! 


Is another of our domestics. I should scarcely have 
ventured on so particular a notice of him but for one 
or two very strongly-marked traits of character. He 
is a short and somewhat fat negro, some twenty years 
old, peradventure. Rather an Adonis among the colored 
ladies, Bill affects bijouterie; wears rings in his ears; 
and, if my memory serve me faithfully, a breastpin. 
Indeed, he is one of the professed lady-killers here, and 
wears his laurels jauntily. 

But there is another trait of his that demands more 
particular notice. At the age of fifteen, Bill was 
smitten with a passion for music, and, true to the whim- 


sicalities of musical people, chose the fife, of all the in- 
struments, as best befitting " the lips of Phoebus." 

It is recorded of Columbus that some eighteen years 
of persevering effort was the price of his greatness. 
Fulton was scarcely less fortunate. Emulous of such 
fortitude and perseverance, Bill has, since the year 
'forty-five, been learning to play the fife. Had he 
foreseen the "series longissima rerum" that must pre- 
cede the desired success, I do believe that he would 
have abandoned the idea; but the step was taken, and 
for looking back! — it was not a thing to be thought of. 
With indefatigable energy has he toiled on, the frowns 
of the goddess of Harmony to the contrary notwith- 
standing; and it appears to have been reserved to 
the author of these sketches to record his progress, his 
feats of arms — and fingers. 

It has not escaped the observation of his friends that 
Bill's organ of tune is exceedingly small. Worse than 
this, its development, from years of assiduous practice, 
gives but feeble hopes to anybody, save himself, that 
he will make conquest of any one entire strain of music. 
Certain notes, to say the truth, he has worsted; and in 
a desperate border-warfare on the confines of " Hail 
Columbia" he is said to have reduced certain outposts 
of crotchets and quavers to a very critical condition. 
Certain notes, too, he has pressed into service. But his 
ranks are liable at any moment to be so thinned by 
desertion as to leave him helpless. I am informed, but 
do not hold myself responsible for the statement, that 
he has this summer ventured (emboldened, it would 
seem, by his little skirmishes with the enemy) on a 
pitched battle with a detachment of the main army of 

146 nag's head. 

La Sonnambula, to the utter rout and discomfiture, 
though, assuredly, not to the entire conquest thereof. 

If I may change the figure, Bill can never sail in the 
wake of the " air'' he is in pursuit of. His fife is not 
at all a weatherly craft; drifting fearfully to leeward, 
and requiring half a gale to bring out her sailing 
qualities. Resolute, nevertheless, to keep in the enemy's 
wake, and at times (to do him justice) successful, he 
will, all of a sudden, yaw off three or four points, or 
else be " all in the wind ;" lose steerage way, it may be, 
and flounder "in irons." 

A compeer of his, and decidedly a character, is 


He is a boy of about fourteen years of age, and a 
mulatto. He is intelligent, and naturally active ; with 
a shrewdness worthy an older head. I may safely set 
it down, as one of the most prominent of his distinguish- 
ing traits of character, that he is never to be found at 
the precise period of time when he is wanted. How 
many times a day do I hear Maria, the cook, calling, at 
the top of her voice, 

"Mk! Izik! IZIK!" 

There is usually no reply ; but, after the lapse of from 
five to thirty minutes, the unconscious Isaac walks into 
the kitchen as coolly as if ears had been wanting in the 
inventory of his chattels personal. Under no circum- 
stances does his eye fall before your own. No blow 
could make his ire visible, save in the more intense 
glistening of his Spanish eyes. He has a low, musical 
voice, and is an excellent waiter for any one whom he 
happens to like. 


I should not omit to say that he has one other quality 
in perfection, which is an amiable weakness in most of 
his brethren. I allude to the power which he manifests, 
to consume more minutes, or hours, in blacking one's 
boots, going for letters and papers, or a pail of water, 
than any individual whom it has been my privilege to 

With no farther mention of Harriet and Cely than 
the statement that both are excellent servants, I close 
these notices of the servants by a word or two concern- 


Imprimis: The name Jeff, I take it, is an abbreviation 
of Jefferson. Jeff is, I think, verging closely to the 
last of " the thirties.'' He is a short, Sancho Panza-like, 
squatty negro ; as irascible as a violinist or a school- 
master. In ludicrous contrast to his diminutive stature, 
is a rough, deep, heavy voice, of a prevailing tone 
approaching to oratund. He is a man of business ; 
bustling, fidgety, authoritative ; loves a joke, and has a 
weakness for "mountain clew'' and Old Monongahela. 
With all his faults, however, old Jeff is a jewel of a 
servant, if allowed to have, occasionally, the bent of 
his humor. I cannot close these desultory observations 
concerning the servants without saying how much I 
have been disappointed in my estimate of them and of 
their condition. I had been taught to suppose that I 
should find them sullen, revengeful, crouching, and 
unhappy. My surprise, then, may be imagined in find- 
ing them ignorant indeed, but affectionate, docile, faith- 
ful ; and, in most cases, to all appearance, contented 
and happy. 

148 nag's head. 

In my own intercourse with them, which has been, of 
necessity, somewhat limited, I am glad to say that I 
have found them almost uniformly respectful, obliging, 
patient, and faithful. I owe — and who does not? — much 
to them. A kind word, or a smile, is the only reward 
they expect. In sickness, they are ever ready to do all 
in their power. The boy Isaac repeatedly slept on the 
floor in my chamber when I was sick, and never mani- 
fested the slightest impatience or sullenness in being 
robbed of his accustomed and needful hours of repose. 
May the day soon come when they shall all peacefully 
be made free ! 

Let the true friend of his race teach the young the 
solution of the once mysterious problem of life, by giv- 
ing them the truth on which " hang all the law and the 
prophets." "Let but the principles of the Gospel pre- 
vail," said an eloquent divine, " and the fetters of the 
slave would fall to the ground. Fall, did I say? They 
would melt from off his limbs !" 

I cannot forbear, in conclusion, quoting the eloquent 
language of the brilliant, earnest, large-hearted John 
Weiss, of Massachusetts. In speaking of the reforms, 
he says, 

" What will he this future idea, or movement, so 
mighty as to surpass conventional barriers, and make 
of one blood all the nations of men ?" * * * " It 
will result from no single movement. Its germ will 
be no idea of the intellect. It will be the consequence 
of no congress of nations, no arbitration, no politi- 
cal compromise. It will result from a simple faith in 
moral principles." * * * " Teach men that this 
common goodness is the secret of common harmony; 
* * * teach them that only kind of truth which sancti- 


fies, and they will rush together like kindred atoms. 
* * * rpk e S £ a £ e sna Ji be the world ; the nation will be 
all mankind ; the Church of God will be builded out of 
human hearts, which are made of one color, and are 
full of one blood, and whose pulses beat with equal 
motion beneath the shadow of the iceberg and the 

I believe the day to be not far distant when the fair 
Tree of Liberty shall gather all kindreds and tongues 
beneath its ample shade. Freedom is progressive. 

" Its growth is of the cedar, 

That knoweth not decay ; 
Its top shall bless the mountain 

Till mountains pass away. 
Its top shall greet the sunshine, 

Its leaves shall drink the rain, 
Till on its blessed branches 

The Slave shall hang his chain." 



About three miles from the Hotel, and about mid- 
way between Albemarle Sound and the sea, are several 
ponds of fresh water. In the golden age of Nag-'s 
Head, videlicet, in its early day, they are said to have 
been full of the finest fish. On almost any day in Au- 
gust or September, you might have found half a score 
of resolute anglers, patiently plying their taciturn voca- 


150 nag's head. 

tion in the shade of overhanging trees. Many and won- 
derful are the legends, wherewithal my ears have been 
regaled, of scores on scores, as the grasshoppers for mul- 
titude, that some veteran knight of the hook and line 
has caught "between sun and sun." 

As with most other things earthly, " those good old 
days" have carried away with them the glory of the 
Fresh Ponds. There are fish yet, and in plenty; but 
they are small ; and fishing at the Ponds now does duty 
as symphony or interlude to the pic-nic opera; (this 
last word being translated somewhat more literally than 
usual.) The Ponds are now as frequent a resort, per- 
haps, as they ever were; but for pleasure excursions, 
and not for fishing. 

The first sound that met my ear this morning, just as 
the first rays of the sun were peering into our little dor- 
mitory, was the voice of S , who opened my door 

with a 

" Wont you, Mr. Seaworthy? Now say you will. 
You will, wont you?" 

" Without the least doubt I will, my dear S ; but 

what is it ?" 

" So, you didn't hear me ? You sleep soundly this 
morning. I was asking you if you wouldn't join us in 
a pic-nic to the Fresh Ponds." 

" The very place I've been wishing to visit. You'll 
be away soon, I suppose." 

" Immediately ; that is to say, as soon as Isaac and 
old Jeff can get the buggy and cart, and borrow a horse 

for you from Mr.. C ; and that is to say, about nine 

o'clock." And S left me. 

The note of preparation — don't somebody call it so? — 
was soon audible. All manner of victuals and refresh- 


merits, fish, flesh, foul, pies, cake, brandy, claret, pic- 
kles, salt and pepper were in requisition. A frying-pan 
and jug of water were added to the other articles; and 

about nine o'clock, as S had predicted, forth went 

our caravan along the shore of the Sound. After riding 
half a league on the shore, we turned our faces inland, 
and passed through the finest part of "the up-guoines," 
as the Bankers are pleased to call the hill-country, which 
I have yet seen. The road was sandy, indeed, but wound 
pleasantly over hill and through valley till we reached 
the Ponds. 

On our arrival, our party was found to number twelve. 

Mrs. W , Miss G , the Misses C , Dr. A , 

my friend and chum C , J , young G , Dr. 

M , Rev. Mr. F , and myself. 

Fortunate for us that Dr. A was with us ; for, 

with an energy worthy — of a better cause, I was about 
to say — of the occasion, he not only began fitting hooks, 
lines, and poles, but set everybody else at work. It 
was not long before divers young ladies and gentlemen, 
and some older ones, might have been seen (that's the 
phrase, I believe, in your genuine narrative style), 
wending their way, with grave but earnest faces, and 
with malice prepense at their hearts, towards the scaly 
community there dwelling and residing. The hooks 
were baited with bacon, and thrown into the water. 
And then came a very solemn pause ! The party to 
which I had trusted my fortunes were unsuccessful. I 

made my retreat. Dr. A and his companions had 

been more fortunate ; and, in all, near a hundred small 
fish were the victims of our piscatory skill. 

In the division of labor made on the occasion, it fell 
to my lot to be a gatherer of fagots and the builder of 

152 nag's head. 

fires; while to our clerical friend, who enjoyed the thing 
to the full, was allotted the labor of the cuisine. And 
soon, fragrantly to our nostrils, came the appetite-pro- 
voking savor of bacon and fish. A cart was drawn up 
to the buggy, and on the thills we placed a few pieces 
of boards to serve as a table. The feast was spread, 
and the havoc began — and was finished. 

It was not until towards sunset that we began our 
journey homewards. It was agreed on all hands that 
we had had " a most delightful time." How delightful 
it was to me, and wherefore so, are points that I re- 
serve for my father- confessor. 

Since the excursion above described, I have again 
visited the Fresh Ponds. The lapse of a few weeks 
merely had given the tjnge of the past to the former 
excursion ; and the thought of it, and the familiar faces 
that had left us, made me sad for the remainder of the 

I remember singing, on the occasion, a favorite song, 

" Hark ! brothers, hark V 

which I had last heard on our way home from the 

" Didn't Miss C sing that well ?" said J ab- 
ruptly, after accompanying me in the song. And the 
words, and the air, and the scene led me into a long 
reverie about " the old familiar faces :" 

"How some they have died, and some they have left me, 
And some have been taken from me ; all are departed ; 
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces V 

I remember, too, that I went to a particular tree, 
an evergreen, and plucked from one of its lowermost 


branches a leaf such as had plucked from it, and 

given to me. I could not talk as we rode homeward. 
I watched the wheels of our venerable vehicle as they 
rolled, with a monotonous whine, through the dry sun- 
heated sand. I looked at the sky and the clouds ; at 
the woods ; at the Sound ; at our Rosinante, then ap- 
parently in a dangerous stage of decline : at all things 
visible ; but in vain. The memory of the first visit 

would intrude ; and J declared himself bored by 

my presence and sluggish taciturnity. Shall I ever see 
them all again, I wonder ? 


" Rursus again pelago V 

Some three or four leagues southward from Nag's 
Head, as the reader will see by the maps, is the New 
Inlet. If I am rightly informed, there have been 
several inlets from the ocean into the cordon of sounds 
on the coast of the Carolinas, which are now filled up. 
Such is the case with Currituck Inlet. What is called 
New Inlet has not been long open, and it is both narrow 
and shallow. The only light-house, for leagues along 
the coast, is quite near it. 

It is usually thought almost indispensable for the 
stranger at Nag's Head ; and it is by no means un- 
common for the oldest residents to pay a visit to the 

154 nag's head. 

New Inlet. I had, therefore, from the first, counted 
upon the excursion as an event that would certainly 
occur. I was prevented from going until yesterday ; 
and am seated now to give, in all their primitive 
freshness, my " first impressions" of the trip. 

For the last few days, one family after another has 
left Nag's Head for home. Yesterday was the day 
appointed for the departure of our excellent neighbor, 

Mr. N ; and when I went out upon the sand-hills 

yesterday morning, the little Fox, the packet, was lying 
abreast of our landing with nearly all Mr. N 's fur- 
niture on board. There were some half a score of 
negroes returning to and fro, and the boats were plying 
off and on in the hurry of departure. 

It was agreed that the ladies should go off to the 
packet in my friend W 's boat. She was accord- 
ingly loosed from her moorings, and brought within 
some two or three rods of the shore. The ladies rode 

off to her in a cart, and Mr. N , his son Dr. N , 

and myself followed them. We got under way with a 
fresh breeze and stood for the packet. We were not 
long in making the discovery that we could not " fetch,'' 
and therefore ran under stern of the Fox, and a short 
distance beyond her, with the intention of tacking, and 
running alongside the packet on the larboard tack. So 
deeply laden was our boat that she missed stays. We 
had no oar, and she refused to "jibe." And thereupon 

ensued a delicious state of confusion ; Mr. quieting 

the fear of ladies ; one recommending the expedient of 
letting go the jib halyard, and another that of waring 

ship. While in the quandary, young N came to 

our assistance with a boat and two stout oarsmen ; and 


making our painter fast in the stern sheets, he toived 
our vessel round, and we arrived safely alongside the 

With such experience of a pleasure excursion with 
the boat, I had resolved to disembark at the earliest 
opportunity ; but when we returned to the landing, my 
friend the doctor prevailed on me to sail a little longer. 
On our second return to the shore, the children came 
running down the hill, and announced to us that the 
whole family were making arrangements to go to the 

Inlet. Mr. W , the children, Dr. M., a servant, 

Isaac, the fisherman, and myself were to go into the 

boat, while J and the ladies were to go in the buggy 

and cart along the sea-shore. 

Accordingly, a jug of fresh water and pail of pro- 
visions, together with provender for the horses, were 
put on board. In an hour we were ready, and got 
under way with a smacking breeze on our starboard 

Away we went in fine style; and though I had many 
an anxious throb of solicitude for the dilapidated old 
structure of canvas and stitches, " by the courtesy" 
called a sail, I oftener laughed at some humorous sally 

from Y and S . We were under the Palinurian 

auspices of Dr. M , my friend W most unequi- 
vocally declaring, at intervals, through the day, that 
"he was only a passenger!" The boy Isaac (not the 
house-servant) seemed to have caught the prevailing 
tone of good humor (a fair wind makes everybody good- 
humored), and he amused himself in depicting to his 
fellow-servant, in graphic style, the peculiar joys of 
sea-sickness. We had " a beautiful run of it." Rather 

156 nag's head. 

a long one, indeed, and longer than we had anticipated; 
and Isaac did not materially shorten the apparent dis- 
tance by his constant attention to Y and S 

that we were not yet "half-way to de Inlet." 

for that gift of second sight so seldom enjoyed 
in these degenerate modern times ! for the Chal- 
dee's skill in reading the pages of " the poetry of 
Heaven!" for one of those magic stones, or glasses, 
in which men have gazed and read the future ! 

We had relied on Isaac as a pilot, for he had been to 

the Inlet, as, indeed, had Mr. W ; but neither of 

them remembered the channel ; and in the full tide of 
pleasant anticipations (for the light-house was plainly 
in sight), we ran aground on an immense bar ! By dint 
of a little labor we contrived to force the boat along 
for another furlong, and then she flatly refused to budge 

another inch. Dr. M , Isaac, and myself sprang 

overboard, and dragged her along for, perhaps, half 
a mile, when the water had become so shallow as to 
make it impossible to proceed, at least with my friend 

W 's aldermanic weight in the boat. I thought it 

a little ungenerous of him not to share our toil; but, as 
the doctor had made some unmistakable allusions to the 
quantity of ballast, I said nothing. 

Was it Solomon who broached the theory that " in 
the multitude of counselors there is safety?" It may 
be true enough on shore, for aught I know ; but on a 
pleasure excursion, the doctrine does not hold good. 

I was for having Mr. W get out of the boat, in 

order that we might, at least, get V and S on 

shore at the light-house, whence they could easily get 
home. Besides this plan, there were several others. 


Dr. M thought the channel was farther on : Mr. 

W thought we had passed it. 

At length it was reluctantly decided that we should 
drag the boat off towards the broad sound — reluctantly, 
I say, for we thought we saw the ladies on the shore. 
Fortunately for them, they had divided the refresh- 
ments, and carried the dessert in the vehicles. 

After dragging the boat over the sand for nearly 
half a mile (it seemed a league to me), she at last 
floated, and we stood over to the western shore of the 
sound. The wind was ahead, the afternoon was far on 
the wane, and, to complete the unpleasant features of 
the prospect, the tide was running " like a mill-race" — 
the wrong way ! We gained slowly, however, and 
possibly might have " beat'' home before the ensuing 
Sabbath — the day being Thursday. 

As we approached the western shore on the starboard 
tack, the strap which held the sprit to the mast parted, 
and the sprit dashed down with a dull thump through 
the bottom of the boat ! The water came rushing in 
at a fearful rate. I gave Isaac my handkerchief, to 
which he added his own, and in this way we reached 
the shore (a marsh), and hauled the boat up to repair 
damages. We accomplished this but imperfectly, as a 
matter of course, inasmuch as we had neither tools nor 
materials. We ventured, however, on embarking again, 
and after making one or two stretches, during which it 
was necessary to bail with a bucket, and in which we 
" fetched" the very place where we got under way, we 
again resorted to the expedient of towing. But slow 
progress made we in the reeds and mud, and, as the sun 
must soon set, our situation was becoming desperate. 

158 nag's head. 

V and S were tired, too, and the spirits of the 

whole party were at zero. What should we do ? 

" Sail !'' was the welcome cry, as we stood unde- 
cided ; and presently a small " dug-out" from Hyde* 
came ploughing along, with her jib out-rigged like a 

lower studding-sail. Luckily, Dr. M knew one 

of the gentlemen aboard. We hailed her, and she ran 
down to us. We briefly explained our situation to 

them, and my friend W very pathetically threw 

his disconsolate self and no less miserable party upon 
their mercy. One of them, a fine, hearty fellow, imme- 
diately attempted — coolly smoking his pipe meanwhile — 
to repair our damages; but in vain ; and, although it 
was a very serious inconvenience to him, consented to 
convey us either to Eoanoke Island or to Nag's Head. 
His companion, who was in a great hurry to get home, 

was not quite so deeply impressed with Mr. W 's 

eloquence ; and when the decision was announced, he 
exclaimed, with an emphasis and energy which make 
me laugh even now when I think of them, u Bod rot 
it all! Bod dog the luck!" The reader can translate 
the exclamation. 

As we stood out from the shore, two other boats 
hove in sight ; both evidently bound northward. It 
was then decided, after some discussion, that we should 
speak one of them; and if she would not take us to 
Nag's Head, our deliverers would do so — our tall friend 
who had come so nigh swearing, declaring that he 
would see us safely home, "if it took a week." 
Fortunately, the skipper of the boat which we spoke 

* The North Carolinians say Hyde, Hertford, Bertie, &c., and 
not Hyde county, Bertie county, &c. 


consented to take us, and we were soon on board. 
Bidding our Hjde county friends good-bye, we were 
soon under way homeward. 

The wind partially failed, and we made but poor 
progress. We were chilly, wet, hungry, and fatigued. 
The poles were got out, and what with them and the 

breeze, we at last reached the landing. Mrs. W 

was on the shore to welcome us. We paid the skipper 
a liberal price for his trouble, and invited him to sup 
with us ; but he was anxious to reach Elizabeth City 
with his little cargo of corned mullets, and he bade us 
good night, and got under way. With womanly fore- 
sight, Mrs. W had prepared us a hot supper. A 

bowl of whisky-punch, an excellent dish of coffee, 
with other more substantial fare, went far to recruit 
our strength and spirits ; and with many a laugh over 
our misfortunes, and many a desperate resolve never 
again to go on a pleasure excursion to the New Inlet 
again — by water, we retired to rest. 

"Forsan et Ticec, olim, meminisse juvabit," 

thought I, as I laid my aching, ague-stricken limbs 
upon the bed; and I slept. 



The amusements at all watering-places are, as far 
i I happen to know, much the same. There are, how- 

160 nag's head. 

ever, some points in which those of Nag's Head are 
somewhat peculiar. Gentlemen who are fond of fox- 
hunting bring their horses and hounds, and go gallop- 
ing over the treacherous sands, much to the hazard of 
both horse and rider. The disciples of Walton and 
Stoddart can fish here without the aid of the "Complete 
Angler," and catch an abundant supply. Then there are 
excursions to the Fresh Ponds, to Roanoke Island, Kill- 
Devil Hills, and the New Inlet. Bathing occupies, 
too, and right pleasantly, many an hour that might else 
hang heavily upon one's hands. Then there is the 
drive on the beach, or, if you prefer it, the walk; 
alone, in the 

" Society where none intrudes, 
By the deep sea," 

or with one or more companions of your own choosing. 
Besides these, there is a bowling-alley, where the 
boarders from the hotel and the residents from the 
hills meet at nine or ten in the forenoon, and remain 
until the dinner hour. 

But the centre of attraction is the hotel. A siesta 
after the late dinner leaves you time for a short stroll 
about sunset; and after tea, dressing is the universal 
occupation. At length, sometimes as early as eight 
o'clock, but oftener at nine, or a later hour, the 
musician makes his appearance. The twang of the 
strings, even, as he tunes it, is enough to call the little 
folks around him ; and it is not long before the ladies 
make their appearance ; the sets are formed, and the 
long-drawn "Balance, all!" gives the glow of pleasure 
to every face. 

It was my delight, albeit I am a quiet sort of man, 


grateful always, like the man in " The Spectator,'' to 
those who will not speak to me when I am not " i' the 
vein" of conversation, to obtain a seat in the corner and 
look at the dancers. Charmed by the gayeties of the 
dancing-saloon, I once forgot my years and gravity so 
far as to make a promise to a young lady that I would 
go to the hotel the next day and learn the figures. I 
had a chill the next day, and my dignity survived 
the threatened fall. 

Upon these amusements there are some very serious 
drawbacks, among the most serious of which is the 
constant loss of familiar faces. You meet a pleasant 
acquaintance the first week of your stay, and he is gone 
with the next packet. Then there is the sand, through 
which it is so hard to walk or ride, and which is always 
filling one's eyes and shoes. The wind blows almost con- 
stantly, forgetting now and then all its decorum, and 
performing all sorts of mad antics on land and sea. In 
conclusion, permit me to apologize, worthy reader, for 
the omission of what may be called, par excellence, the 
amusement at Nag's Head. That ever I should have 
forgotten the staple of fun — the State-patronized frolic 
— the chills and fever ! chacun a son gout ! 



It is very possible that the reader has been, ere this, 
comparing me to the manager who announced for the 


162 nag's head. 

evening " the play of Hamlet, with the part of Ham- 
let left out." Where, who, and what are the bank- 
ers ? 

Where, indeed ? I have made but scanty mention of 
them, and the two months are well nigh gone. I accept 
the reproof. To say the truth, I have seen but little 
of them. True, I know that they are the landholders 
along the ridge of land that serves as a natural break- 
water for the protection of the chain of sounds on the 
coast of Carolina. I have seen them mending their 
nets, I have chatted with them, and yet I know but 
little of their character and habits. My friend Dr. 

A tells me that many of them are miserably poor, 

and that he not unfrequently prescribes (and, to his 
credit, puts up and sends the prescription) simply a little 
wholesome food. Many of them, he informs me, have 
most singular prejudices concerning medicine. He 
filled a small phial with a mixture for a child, the other 
day. The next morning the sister of the little patient 
came for more medicine. 

" More medicine ?" exclaimed the doctor ; " why, he 
hasn't taken all I left yesterday?" 

" No sir ! Ma says how't they shan't nary dray on't 
go in-TO him ; and she wants some other sort o' doc- 
tor stuff!" 

Altogether, they seem to be a peculiar people. They 
are isolated from the social intercourse, which, in the 
more densely-peopled communities of the mainland, 
refines and elevates the individual. They look very 
jealously, I am told, upon strangers ; but are clannish, 
and therefore honest and social among themselves. 

T had written thus far this morning, when I was sum- 


moned to breakfast. As I was finishing my second cup 
of coffee, I heard the gruff tones of old Jack. On going 
out, I found him chaffering with one of the bankers 
about the price of some figs. The bargain was at 
length satisfactorily closed. 

"Jack," said I. 

" Sah, your servant, maussa." 

"What do you think of these bankers?" 

" What do I tink ? I isn't got but one 'pinion 'bout 
dat, Maussa Gregory; an' dat is, dey is de triflin'est, 
laziest, most onaccommodatin'- " 

"Not all of them?" 

"No, maussa; not exactly all on 'em; but when you 
takes away all of de bad sort, dey isn't any left !" And 
Jack chuckled at the waggery of his description. 

"Does you know dat man I bought de figs of, Maussa 


"Well, he's de son of a man dat was a man o' some 
account. Did I ever spin you, Maussa John," continued 

he, addressing my friend W , who had joined us at 

that moment, "de yarn ob Cap'n Somes, dat was de 
skipper ob de Anson Bentley in de las' war?" 

" I reckon not, Jack." 

" Wal, dat feller's his son. More's de pity he ain't 
more like his father was !" 

"Give us the yarn, Jack." 

"Ise mighty dry dis mornin', Maussa John !" 

Jack's thirst was appeased, though not " strictly in 
accordance with temperance principles," and he gave 
us the following story: — 

164 nag's head. 


I take the liberty to translate the story, as it will 
save the necessity of deciphering it from the peculiar 
dialect of the gruff old sailor, and enable me to spare 
the reader many an unnecessary digression. 

It was, then, during "the last war," as the war of 
1812 is usually called — and the precise date is here of 
no possible importance — that Jasper Somes was given 
the command of a small brig, of some two hundred and 
forty tons burthen, pierced for twelve guns, and pro- 
vided with a swivel, and the necessary munitions of a 

He had been a cabin-boy on board an English vessel 
in his boyhood. The New World found favor in his 
eyes, and having few ties to bind him to the mother 
country (for he was an orphan), the tales he hadheard 
of the ease and rapidity with which merit made its way 
from the forecastle to the quarter-deck, and of the cer- 
tainty with which wealth followed promotion, had con- 
firmed his resolution to seek his fortune under the new 
flag. Nor was he disappointed. On obtaining his dis- 
charge at Norfolk (and this was not easily effected, for 
he was a general favorite with officers and crew), he 
met, by sheer accident, with one Captain John Hen- 

The boy was strolling about the wharf, where several 
West Indiamen were lying, nearly ready for sea. He 
happened to attract the notice of Captain Henderson, 
who had just been superintending the sending-up of a 


new foretoproast, and was leaving the vessel when his 
eye fell upon young Somes. 

" Well, my lad," said the captain, "how do you like 
the looks of that ship ?" 

"She looks ship-shape, sir. She has a good bow, 
and a clean run, and ought to sail. But they'll have 
to send down that topmast again." 


" They have made a mistake in putting on the 
standin' riggin'." 

" The devil they have ! You've a sharp eye of your 
own. You're right. I wasn't here until they began to 
sway on it. What vessel do you belong to ?'' 

" I don't belong to any, sir. I was cabin-boy on 
board the Hero." 

" Would you like to ship ?" 

"Not as cabin-boy, sir. I want to be a sailor*" 

" Well, then, before the mast. You shall have ten 
dollars a-month. Will you go ?" 

" Yes, sir. Where are you bound ?" 

"To Rio; be on board at nine o'clock to-morrow, 
and sign the articles." 

"Ay, ay, sir," replied Jasper, mechanically; and he 
walked away with a throb of pleasure at his good for- 
tune. Captain Henderson was evidently pleased with 
him, and could he retain that favorable impression, there 
were not many voyages for him before the mast. The 
next day he signed the articles, and on the third day after- 
ward he saw the last of Cape Henry for some months. 
Giving all possible attention to his duty, the favorable 
impression which he had at first made was strengthened 
and confirmed. He was almost uniformly first on deck 
after the watch had been called ; first to go aloft in a 

166 nag's head. 

squall ; first upon the footropes in stowing the jib or 
flying jib. No one ever "growled" at him for a "slow 
relief" at the wheel, or on the look-out at night; and 
there was so much cheerfulness in his look, and tone of 
voice, in obeying orders, that he became a general fa- 
vorite on board the Admiral, as he had been on board 
the Hero. Captain Henderson invariably called him 
aft when he was taking an observation, and it was not 
long before Jasper became an expert navigator. It was 
the custom of the captain, too, though not agreeable to 
the strict rSgime of the quarter-deck, to converse with 
the boy as he stood at the wheel. This he might safely 
do ; for nothing could divert Jasper's attention from the 
compass, the head of the ship, and the weather-leach of 
the mizzen royal, while it was his trick at the wheel. 

He continued with Captain Henderson for seven years, 
during- which time he became an expert seaman and a 
thorough-bred navigator, and had been promoted, step 
by step, until he attained the berth of mate, or first 
officer, on board a stanch ship of six hundred and fifty 
tons. Meanwhile the friendly intimacy between him and 
the captain had been confirmed, and their intercourse 
was more like that of father and son than of the captain 
and his inferior. Captain Henderson had saved enough 
from his hard-earned wages, first to buy a "piece" of 
the ship he commanded, then the whole; and finally had 
accumulated enough to purchase a large landed estate 
in Nansemond, about forty miles from Norfolk. This 
he had stocked, and got under successful and profitable 
cultivation; leaving it, when he was at sea, under the 
care of a negro, who had so distinguished himself by 
his honesty and good conduct as to have obtained the 
post of overseer. 


It had been the custom of the captain, whenever Jas- 
per could be spared from the duties of receiving and 
stowing, or of discharging cargo, to take his favorite to 
Stalkfield to spend a few days with his family. Mistress 
Henderson was to the full as fond of the brave, high- 
spirited boy as was her excellent husband; and Mary 
Henderson, then about twelve years old, was never 
weary of listening to the young mariner's tales of the 
sea, of romping or riding with him about or beyond the 

She was a charming girl, with golden hair, and a pro- 
fusion of it, a light step, and a smile that boded well 
for her future character. She was not handsome. She 
dressed with the severest plainness; but there was some- 
thing in her eye and manner that never failed to win 
the heart of even her casual acquaintances. Then she 
was so affectionate to her father and mother ; and the 
latter being an invalid, Mary was ever near her, ever 
ministering to her comfort. The captain's pipe and 
tobacco, and even his boot-jack and slippers were her 
care. There was no little comfort, or whim, or taste, to 
which it did not seem to be her special study to gratify. 

For the last three voyages, Jasper had not seen her. 
The mother's health had improved, and Mary had been 
placed at school. One of these voyages had been to 
Manilla, another to Valparaiso, and the third to Smyrna ; 
and well-nigh three years had rolled away since Jas- 
per saw her. Those three years, too, were after the 
arrival of her fourteenth birthday, and Jasper Somes' 
surprise may be imagined, on finding a woman where 
he had been expecting a girl. If Mary had been charm- 
ing as a girl, she was tenfold more charming as the 
young woman. The romping and giggling had disap- 

168 nag's head. 

peared with the girlish costume. "The cast of thought" 
was on the forehead; and the eye told of soberer and 
profounder views of life. Indeed, as is always the case, 
she had become thoughtful, and had invested life with 
less romance than is usual with girls of her age, because 
of her constant attendance upon her invalid mother. 
There is no preacher like Sickness to teach us the 
" braw sober lessons" of hard-featured, real, tangible, 
undisguised, every-day life. 

Jasper, too, had changed. The frankness and gentle- 
ness remained; but the habit of command had given his 
natural air a more decided cast. The beardless face had 
given place to the raven whisker. The sun had left 
upon the darkened cheek the hue of warmer climes, and 
the slender, stripling-like limbs of the cabin-boy had 
expanded into the athletic fullness and sinew of early 

There was, at first, shyness and constraint on the 
part of both. Jasper, unconscious of the similar change 
in his own manner, was half vexed with the shyness and 
reserve of his former companion. Like all other lovers, 
he endeavored to fathom the cause of it. What could it 
be? As he lay thinking on the matter, late one night, 
he fell upon what struck him as being a most lucid so- 
lution of the mystery. 

" I am," said he to himself, " poor. I have no hopes 
of fortune, or eminence save in these hands of mine, 
which, I thank God, have thus far proved no unworthy 
allies. She is rich. She can wed above me — immea- 
surably. She thinks I covet her hand, possibly, for 
these acres of Stalkfield. By the mane of the sea ! 
she may spare herself the unworthy suspicion. The 
dawn is not distant, and then good-bye to Stalkfield !" 


"What port do you hail from last?'' said Mary to 
her father, as they were preparing to retire on the same 

"From Smyrna, my daughter." 

" Was it there Jasper got his new invoice of dignity ?" 
asked Mary, with a laugh. 

"Nay, my daughter. Jasper has undergone no 
change that I can perceive ; though he has seemed a 
little shy to-day.'' 

" A little shy f I'm almost afraid to speak to him ; 
with that gruff voice of his, and those enormous whis- 

"The voice is just what it should be, Molly, for the 
quarter-deck ; and for the whiskers, I dare say he 
would be quite willing to part with them, now that sum- 
mer has come. Good night, my daughter." 

" Good night, my dear father." 

Breakfast is almost always a silent meal ; always so 
when night has been turned into day, by the demands 
of fashion ; alwavs so when men have lingered late 
over the dice, the cards and the wine ; always after the 
vigil in the sick-room ; always when there is secret grief 
or ill-feeling in the heart of parent, child, friend, host, 
or guest. 

The breakfast-scene the next morning was the dull- 
est ever known at Stalkfield. Jasper was indeed " dig- 
nified." Mary was piqued, and Captain Henderson and 
his lady were mystified. The good, simple-hearted old 
captain could not fathom it. Mistress Henderson upset 
the cream pitcher, and even old Juba seemed to have 
caught the fidgety feeling. 

" Juba, tell Lloyd to bring out my horse, if you 

170 nag's head. 

" Yes, niaussa. 

" Why, Jasper, you're not going away ? I believe I 
have your promise to spend a fortnight at Stalkfield. 
Tut! tut ! man ! Hold on to your moorings. You — " 

"Here's de letter-bag, Maussa John," said old Sam, 
who had entered unnoticed, with a scrape of his right 

"The letters, hey? Let's see. Captain John 

that's for me. Give me my glasses, Lloyd. Here's two 
for you, my daughter. Hillo, Jasper, here's one for 
you, my boy ! I think I've seen that hand before. 
Mightily like Bentley & Dent's head clerk. We'll read 
'em over our last cup of coffee." 

For a few minutes, not a word was said. The coun- 
tenance of neither father nor daughter indicated any- 
thing specially interesting ; one of the letters being 
from a firm in Norfolk about a proposed voyage to 
Cayenne ; and the other a soul-breathing epistle from 
a boarding-school crony of Mary's. But Jasper's eyes 
expanded with a most unmistakable expression of joy- 
ful surprise. 

"What is it, my boy ?" exclaimed Captain Henderson, 
as he lifted his spectacles over his forehead. " Some- 
thing pleasant, I'll be sworn." 

Jasper handed him the letter. 

" May I read it aloud, my boy ?" 

" Yes, sir, if you choose." 

"Norfolk, June lSth, 1812. 

" Mr. Jasper Somes — 

" Dear Sir — You have now been several years in our 
employ, and it has given us unfeigned pleasure to ad- 
vance you step by step to the berth of first officer. The 


report of Captain Henderson as to your skill as a sea- 
man and navigator, and your good conduct in the com- 
mercial transactions connected with the voyage, afford 
us the anticipated pleasure of offering you the barque 
Hesperus, now nearly ready for sea, and bound to Ma- 
hon. Waiting your reply^ I am, sir, in behalf of self 
and partner, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" Per James Felton." 

" D'ye hear that, wife? Mary, do you hear that? 
The Hesperus ? the prettiest craft that swims, I do 
believe. I congratulate you, my brave heart of oak. 
Zounds, man ! your fortune's made ! Lloyd, have that 
horse put back into the stable. You sha'n't stir from 
Stalkfield to-day." 

And the delighted captain stalked back and forth, as 
if he had regained his post on the quarter-deck. 

" Jasper, come here ! Give me your hand, my boy. 
My daughter, come here. Give me yours. There, now ! 
shake hands and have no more of this pouting." 

"Why, father, I'm sure I " 

" No such a thing ! You've both been more dignified 
than an admiral exercising his fleet. Shake hands, 
now, and make it up directly." 

And Jasper Somes's valiant and almost wrathful 
resolves faded away "in tenues duras." 

It was the twentieth day of June, in the year of our 
Lord eighteen hundred and twelve. A memorable day 
for Jasper Somes ; for he had that day breathed in the 
ear of Mary Hendersen the tale of his love. On the 
morrow he was to leave Stalkfield to superintend the 

172 nag's head. 

preparations for his voyage. As the lovers returned 
from their walk, with hearts too full of happiness to 
admit of conversation, a servant met them with letters. 

Joining Captain Henderson, who was enjoying a pipe 
in the piazza, the letters were opened. 

"News for us!" exclaimed Jasper, handing the open 
letter to the captain. The old gentleman adjusted his 
spectacles, and read aloud — 

" Norfolk, June 19th, 1812. 
" Capt. Jasper Somes : — 

" Dear Sir — Yours of yesterday reached us late last 
evening. We hasten to inform you that .an express 
arrived at daybreak this morning from Washington. 
War is declared — war with England. We shall there- 
fore defer the voyage of the Hesperus. Meanwhile, we 
intend to take out letters of marque, and if you are so 
disposed, you can have the command of the brig Anson 
Bentley, two hundred and forty tons, now fitting for 
sea. You can pick your own crew, and we beg leave 
to say that we have entire confidence that you will give 
a good account of yourself. 

" We are, with much respect, 

" Your ob't serv'ts, 

"Per Jas. Felton." 

" Jasper, give us your hand, my boy !" exclaimed the 
kind-hearted skipper ; and throwing his arms around 
the young sailor, he embraced him. Jasper Somes's 
eyes glistened with emotion, and the tears started forth 
upon the furrowed cheeks of the old man as he repeated 
his congratulations. 


" Your fortune's as good as made, you lucky dog ! 
Your obedient servant, Captain Somes !" added he, 
with a mock salaam of affected reverence. " May I 
bespeak a middy's berth aboard the Anson Bentley ? 
Think of my head among 'the young gentlemen !'" 

Jasper laughed, but made no reply. To say the 
truth, the memory of that day's interview was far too 
fresh in the minds of both himself and Mary Henderson 
to qualify them for a due appreciation of the good for- 
tune that had so aroused the worthy captain's enthu- 
siasm. Mistress Henderson made no other demonstra- 
tion of her joy than the grasping of the young sailor's 
hand in both her own, and the utterance of a low, but 

"I congratulate you, Jasper. You deserve it." 

Three months from that evening, the brig Anson 
Bentley left the Capes of the Chesapeake. Her crew 
consisted of seventy men, all told ; young, hardy, ener- 
getic men — precisely the sort of crew that it were 
hazardous for any foe, with not too much odds, to meet. 
The war was for "sailors' rights," and a spirit had 
been roused which the stalwart sons of the English 
marine ultimately found to be troublesome. 

A week passed away, and not the gleam of a sail had 
been seen. It was Saturday evening, and the brig was 
becalmed. The boatswain's mate had piped to supper, 
and the messes were chatting and eating between the 
guns. It was the hour when the crew of a man-o'-war 
are allowed to talk and sing, and be as merry, within 
bounds, as they please. Captain Somes was pacing the 
deck with his first lieutenant, Mr. Trapier, when a flash 


174 nag's head. 

of lightning, from a small cloud in the west, arrested 
the promenade. 

"Let the people finish their suppers as soon as may 
be, Mr. Trapier,'' said the captain, after a momentary 
survey of the sky, "and hand the light sails." 

"Ay, ay, sir," was the prompt reply, and the brig 
was soon under snug sail for the night. The threatened 
squall was long in gathering. It was not until three 
bells in the mid-watch that it burst upon the vessel. 
Every necessary precaution had been taken, however, 
and the brig was under her topsails merely, and ready 
for the threatened storm. Well was it for all that she 
was thus in readiness ; for the blast came rushing like a 
war-horse against an enemy's column, causing the brig 
to heel fearfully to port. 

"Luff !'' shouted the officer of the deck, with a voice 
like a young lion. 

"Luff it is, sir!'' was the reply, and the brig came 
briskly to the wind. From that time until the dawn of 
day, the wind, after the first violence of the squall was 
over, continued to freshen. 

"Station the look-outs!" said Captain Somes, as he 
came on deck, at daybreak. 

The order was executed; a man being stationed in 
the fore and maintopmast-crosstrees. 

"Maintopmast-crosstrees !" hailed the captain. 


" What's the news there, aloft ?" 

"Nothing in sight, sir." 

"Boatswain's mate, send the boy Fred." 

"Ay, ay, sir. You Fred, lay aft there; Captain 
Somes wants you." 


A shrill, treble, boyish voice shouted the customary 
" Ay, ay !" and Fred Manning ran aft. 

" Here, you young powder monkey ! carry this ship's- 
glass aloft to the look-out." 

"For'ard, sir?" 

"No! on the main." 

The look-out took the glass, and adjusting it carefully, 
began sweeping the horizon. 

" Sail !" shouted he, suddenly. 

"Where away?" was the question from the quarter- 

"A couple o' pints on the weather-bow, sir. Looks 
large, sir !" 

Captain Somes now went aloft, and, in the course of 
an hour, had made out the stranger. She was mani- 
festly larger than the brig, a ship, under English 
colors, and showing a close-reefed fore and mizzen top- 
sail, single-reefed maintopsail and jib. 

"Let the drum beat to quarters," said he, as he jumped 
from the Jacob's-ladder on deck. " Keep fast the guns ! 
Be ready there, boarders !" 

Pistols and cutlasses were handed from the arm-chest. 
The crew were speedily armed, and the boatswain piped 
"All hands ! splice the main brace !" 

The stranger was now drawing quite near ; when sud- 
denly she squared her yards and bore away so as to 
bring the wind upon her starboard quarter. She was 
deeply laden, however, and as Captain Somes had "kept 
away," it was soon apparent that the brig would speedily 
overhaul her. The stranger was evidently aware of 
this ; for he hauled his wind and threw his maintopsail 
to the mast. 

176 nag's head. 

"Ship ahoy!" shouted Jasper, as he ran across her 


"What ship is that?" 

" The Ayrshire, of Liverpool." 

"Strike your colors, then; for you are my prize." 

"Never!" shouted the stranger, who evidently had 
not before heard of the existence of the war ; and im- 
mediately there was a bustle on board. 

The brig, meanwhile, had run across the stranger's 
stern, and hauled on the wind, so that as the dialogue 
closed she was forging ahead of the ship. 

"Luff!" shouted Jasper; and the brig came briskly 
into the wind, her jib-boom coming foul of the stranger's 

"Follow me, boys I" shouted he; and with a bound 
he was between the manropes. In another instant he 
was in the staysail-netting, on the stranger's bowsprit, 
engaged, hand to hand, with her gallant captain. The 
brig was, of course, aback; and before a man could follow 
him, a heavy sea threw the two vessels apart, and Jas- 
per Somes was alone ! 

" Keep back ! all of you !'' shouted the English 
captain to his men, who were about to cut the youth 
from his resting-place, where he was fighting like a lion 
at bay. " Let me deal with the Yankee Hotspur !" 

G-ardez vous bien, Jasper Somes, for thou hast no 
boy's play before thee — a chest as broad, and an arm 
as strong, and a heart as brave as thy own. Occupied 
for the moment by the hand-to-hand struggle, the 
officers and crew stood in silent admiration of the com- 



The Englishman's cutlass has been struck from his 
grasp, and it falls into the sea. Jasper throws away 
his own, scorning to take advantage of so gallant a foe. 

" Surrender !" shouted he. 

"Never !" said his undaunted foe. 

" Then defend yourself !" said Jasper; and he grasped 
the Englishman and endeavored to hurl him from the 
nettings. Fearful now was the struggle for the mastery, 
and the crew of the Englishman stood horror-stricken 
at the deadly struggle and the peril in which the com- 
batants were placed. The blood of both was up, and 
now came the terrible struggle for mastery, for life. 
Jasper's foot slipped, and the Englishman's brawny hand 
was at his throat, when suddenly his arms were pinioned 
from behind. 

When the brig was taken aback, the first lieutenant 
had the presence of mind to put the helm hard a-star- 
board. The brig, of course, fell off; her sails filled, 
and the young officer ran her jib-boom into the stranger's 
mizzen rigging. A score of brave fellows rushed on 
board, the stranger's colors were hauled down, and the 
boarders were speedily in possession of the deck. 
Lieutenant Trapier was just in time to save his cap- 
tain's life, and the Englishman, seeing the condition 
of his vessel, surrendered, 

The stranger was an East Indiaman. A crew was 
put on board, and on the third day after the capture, 
the Anson Bentley and her prize anchored in Hampton 

" What became of Jasper, Jack?" asked my friend 
W . 

" 0, he got his pockets full o' prize-money, I've hearn 
tell. Den he and Miss Mary was spliced, and dey all 
lib in Nansemond for long time arter de war." 

178 nag's head. 



The last few days of "the season" at Nag's Head 
are lonely and gloomy to the last degree. Family after 
family has left you. The remainder are on the wing, 
and you might call the place, as some one called Dub- 
lin, " the most car-driving-est city'' in the world. Many 
a door, at which you have been met with a smile of 
welcome, is closed. Many a friend, whom even a short 
acquaintance has rendered dear to you, has departed ; 
and you saunter about the sand-hills with a feverish 
anxiety for the arrival of the day of your own exodus. 
I shall not soon forget my emotions, as I saw family 
after family embark, heard the thousand-times repeated, 
tear-provoking "good-bye," and gathered my relaxed 
energies to appear decorously nonchalant. 

It was on a bright and beautiful day, the last but 

one, of September, that I left Nag's Head. J was 

up and dressing when I awoke. 

" Good morning, J ." 

" Good morning, Mr. Seaworthy. This is your last 
day with us, I suppose," added he, as he smoothed the 
last wrinkle in his cravat. 

I was about making some reply when I heard the 
pleasant tones of my friend Dr. A . On going be- 
low, I found him, as usual, making everybody happy by 


his inxexhautible fund of chat, and fun, and originality, 
and animal spirits. 

"Thought I'd come and breakfast with you, this 

morning," said he to Mrs. W . " We're going 

away to-day, and Madam A is upsetting the house- 
hold gods ; the Penetralia all in confusion. I always 
get out of the way on these occasions. Hate a 
hubbub as I hate the devil ; and we move four times 
a-year !" 

He left us when we had breakfasted. I packed my 
trunk, and again descended to the sitting-room. I was 
restless. I went to the piazza. Cely was mending, and 
Ann sat near her, with brave little John, the baby. 
Jumper lay sunning himself, and little black Simon was 
enjoying a similar luxury. We spoke of my departure. 

"This is one of the greatest hardships of life to me," 
said the elder of the two ladies ; " to part with a fami- 
liar face." Madame W gave me a cordial invita- 
tion to visit them at H , and her fine eyes glistened 

as she did so. 

The hour came. With stifling sensations at my 
throat, I shook hands with all, and bade them farewell. 
In a few minutes, I was on board the white-winged 
packet. Furniture, horses, the cow, and the luggage 
were soon on board ; the chain rattled on the windlass, 
the sails went up " with a will," and I bade Nag's 
Head also farewell. 


My dear reader — for dear art thou to me, what- 
soever thou art, that has followed me through these 
desultory and unworthy sketches of Nag's Head — 
thy hand again at parting. The frost has come. The 

180 nag's head. 

pulse of health comes back to me. I am better. The 
fresh north wind blows through the lattice upon my 
forehead as I write. 


The wind of the North ! 0, it comes from the hills, 
From lands at whose name drowsy memory thrills, 
With beauty and freshness from earth and the wave, 
And stays the frail step on the verge of the grave. 

The wind of the North ! As the ears of the steed 
To note of the pulse-stirring bugle gives heed, 
My heart leaps again, as it bringeth to me 
The strength of the Northward, the air of the free. 

The wind of the North ! welcome wind of the North, 
With health and with iron arms journeying forth ; 
Thou dalliest never with charnel-house air, 
But leavest the joy of thy purity there. 


The wind of the North ! nor in marsh nor in fen 
It maketh its home ; but to dwellings of men 
It bears home the anthem of torrents and rills, 
And gladdens the hearth with the glee of the hills. 

The wind of the North ! bless thee, wind of my home I 
How long o'er the earth and the sea shall I roam, 
My heart ever yearning for home's winter fires, 
The faces, the hearts of the home of my sires ? 

We have jogged on right cosily together, and our 
roads here separate. If the way has been half as 
pleasant to thee as it hath been to thy fellow-traveler, 
it shall go hard if the chances of travel do not bring us 
again in company. Bon voyage and au revoir ! 




A. HART, late CAREY & HART, 

No. 126 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. 




(Marie Rose Tascher de la Pagerie,) 


Translated from the French by Jacob M. 

Howard, Esq. 

In 2 vols., 700 pages, muslin extra gilt. 

" It possesses great intrinsic interest. It 

is a chequered exhibition of the undress life 

of Napoleon. All the glitter and pomp and 

dust of glory which bewilder the mind is 

laid; and we behold not the hero, the em- 

Eeror, ihe guide and moulder of destiny, 
ut a poor sickly child and creature of cir- 
cumstance—affrighted !>y shadows and tor- 
tured by straws."— Philada. City Item. 

" This is one of the most interesting works 
of the day, containing a muliiplicity of in- 
cidents in the life of Josephine and her re- 
nowned husband, which have never before 
been in print." — N. O. Times. 

"This is a work of high and commanding 
interest, and derives great additional value 
from the fact asserted by the authoress, that 
the greater portion of it was written by the 
empress herself. It has a vast amount of 
information on the subjeet of Napoleon's 
career, with copies of original documents 
not to be found elsewhere, and with copious 
notes at the end of the work." — N. O Corn- 

'•Affords the reader a clearer insight into 
the private character of Napoleon than he 
can obtain through any other source." — 
Baltimore American. 

"They are agreeably and well written; 
and it would be strange if it were not so, 
enjoying as Josephine did, familiar collo- 
quial intercourse with the most distinguish- 
ed men and minds of the age. The work 
does not, apparently, suffer by translation." 
— Baltimore Patriot. 

"It is the history— in part the secret his- 
tory, written by her own hand wiih rare 
elegance and force, and at times with sur- 
passing pathos — of the remarkable woman 
who, by the greamessof her spirit was wor- 
thy to be the wife of the soaring NapoU on. 
It combines all the value of auihentic his- 
tory with the absorbing interest of an auto- 
biography or exciting romance." — Item. 





Complete in One Volume Octavo. 

Luther, Bcehme, Sancta Clara, Moser, 
Kant, Lessing, Mendelssohn, Hamann, Wie« 
land, Musaus, Claudius, Lavaler, Jacobi, 
HeTder, Goethe, Schiller. Fichte, Richter, 
A. VV. Schlegel, Schleiermacher, Hegel, 
Zschokke, F. Schlegel, Hardenberg, Tieck, 
Schelling, Hoffmann, Chamisso. 

"The author of this work— for it is well 
entitled to the name of an original produc- 
tion, though mainly consisting of transla- 
tions—Frederick H. Hedge of Bangor, is 
qualified, as few men are in this country, 
or wherever the English language is writ- 
ten, for the successful accomplishment of 
the great literary enterprise to which he has 
devoted his leisure for several years. 

"Mr. Hedge has displayed great wisdom 
in the selection of the pieces to be trans- 
elated; he has given the best specimens of 
£ the best authors, so far as was possible in 
his limited space. 

" We venture to say that there cannot be 
erowded into the same compass a more 
faithful representation of the German mind, 
or a richer exhibition of the profound 
thought, subtle speculation, massive learn- 
ing and genial temper, that characterize the 
most eminent literary men of that nation." 
— Harbinger. 

" What excellent matter we here have. 
The choicest gems of exuberant fancy, the 
most polished productions of scholarship, 
the richest flow of ihe heart, the deepest 
lessons of wisdom, all translated so well by 
Mr Hedge and his friends, that they seem 
to have been first written by masters of the 
English tongue." — The City Item. 

"We have read the book with rare plea- 
sure, and have derived not less information 
than enjoyment." — Knickerbocker. 
< "The selections are judicious and tasteful, 
<the biographies well written and compre 
/ hensive." — Inquirer. 





Complete in 2 vols. 12mo., 

With 16 Steel Portraits in Military Costume. 


Napoleon, Jourdan. SerrurieT, Lannes, 
Brune, Perignon, Oudinot, Soult, Davoust, 
Massena, Murat, Mortier, Ney, Poniatow- 
ski. Grouchy, Bessieres. Berthier, Souchet, 
St. Cyr, Victor, Moncey, Marmont, Mac- 
donald, Bernadotle, Augereau, Lefebvre, 

The biographies are twenty-seven in 
number— Napoleon and his twenty-six 
marshals, being all those created by him — 
and therefore these pages have a complete- 
ness about them which no other work of a 
similar design possesses 

The style is clear and comprehensive, 
and the book may be relied upon for histo- 
rical accuracy, as the materials have been 
drawn from sources the most authentic. 
The Conversations of Napoleon, with ftlon- 
tholon, Gourgaud, Las Cases and Dr. O'- 
Meara have all been consulted as the true 
basis upon which the lives of Napoleon 
and his commanders under him should be 

''The article on Napoleon, which occu- 
pies the greater pan of the first volume, is 
written in a clear and forcible style and 
displays marked ability in the author. Par- 
ticular attention has been paid to the early 
portion of Napoleon's life, which other wri- 
ters have hurriedly dispatched as though 
they were impatient to arrive at the opening 
glories of his great career." — N. Y. Mirror. 

'•The lives of the Marshals and their 
Chief, the military paladins of the gorgeous 
modern romance of the 'Empire,' are given 
with historic accuracy and without exag- 
geration of fact, style or language."— Bal- 
timore Patriot. 

" We have long been convinced that the 
character of Napoleon would never receive 
'even handed justice' until some impartial 
and intelligent American should undertake 
the ta6k of weighing his merits and deme- 
rits. In the present volume this has been 
done with gTeat judgment. We do not 
know the author of the paper on Napoleon, 
but whoever he may be, allow us to say to 
him that he has executed his duty better than 
any predecessor."— Evening Bulletin. 

"The style of this work is worthy of com- 
mendation— plain, pleasing and narrative, 
the proper style of history and biography 
in which the reader does not seek fancy 
sketches, and dashing vivid pictures, but 
what the work professes to contain, biogra- 
phies. We commend this as a valuable 
library book worthy of preservation as a 
work of reference, after having been read." 
—Bait American. 

'•This is the clearest, most concise, and 
most interesting life of Napoleon and his 
marshals which has yet been given to the 
public. Tne arrangement is judicious and 

the charm of the narrative continues nn» 
broken to the end." — City Item 

"The publishers have spared no pains or 
expense in its production, and the best talent 
in the country has been engaged on its va- 
rious histories. The style is plain and gra- 
phic, and the reader feels that he is perusing 
true history rather than the Tamblings of a 
romantic mind."— Lady's Book. 

"The result of these joint labors is a series 
of narratives, in which the events succeed 
each other so rapidly, and are of so marvel- 
ous a cast, as to require only the method in 
arrangement and the good taste in descrip- 
tion which they have received from the 
hands of their authors. The inflated and 
the Ossianic have been happily avoided." — 
Colonization Herald. 

" Their historical accuracy is unimpeach- 
able, and many of them (the biographies) 
are stamped with originality of thought and 
opinion. The engravings are numerous and 
very line. The book is well primed on fine 
white paper, and substantially bound. It 
deserves a place in all family and school 
libraries." — Bulletin. 

"It abounds in graphic narratives of bat- 
tles, anecdotes of the world-famed actors, 
and valuable historical information."— Rich- 
mond Inquirer. 

" We receive, therefore, with real plea- 
sure, this new publication, having assurance 
that great pains have been taken in the pre- 
paration of each individual biography, and 
especially in collating the various auihoii- 
ties upon the early history of the Emprror. 
There appears to be nowhere any attempt 
to blind the reader by dazzling epithets, and 
the accuracy of construction throughout is 
highly creditable to the editor." — Commer- 
cial Advertiser N. Y. 

"The style is simplicity itself, wholly free 
from the amusing pomposity and absurd in- 
flation that distinguish some of the works 
which have gone before it." 



From Designs by E. LETJTZE, 

Expressly for this Volume, 


And printed on fine Vellum paper. 

Sixth Edition. (Just ready.) 

Price &5.00 bound in scarlet, gilt edges ; or 

beautifully bound by S. Moore in calf 

or Turkey morocco, $7.00. 

" This is really a splendid book, and one of 
the most magnificent of Carey & Hart's collec- 
tion of "The Illustrated Poets.'"— IT. S. Gaz. 

"The 'getting up' of this edition is credit* 
able in the highest degree to the publishers 
and the fine arts of the country. The paper 
binding, and the engravings are all of th« 
very best kind." — Inquirer and Courier. 



Complete in One Volume, 12mo. 

" The object of this work is to ' catch the ' 
manners living as ihey rise' in connection 
with the antagonisms of the present day — 
■ novelties which disturb the peace'— as Swe- 
denborgianism, Transcendentalism, Fou- 
riensm, and other isms. The author has 
made these pages the vehicle of valuable 
information on all the topics of which he 
has treated." 

" Peter, as our readers may recollect, sold 
his shadow to a Gentleman in Black, and: 
upon this fable the American adventures: 
are founded. The author, whoever he may 
be, has read much, and been at least 
looker on in Venice,' if not a participator 
of the follies of fashionable life. 

"The theological and political criticism' 
is inwoven with a tale of fashionable life, 
and the reader becomes not a little interest- 
ed in the heroine, Mrs. Smith, who certainly 
must have been a remarkable woman. It: 
is neatly published, and will be extensively; 
read."— Bulletin. 

u We shatl be greatly mistaken if this ; 
book does not kick up a whole cloud of^ 
dust."- The City Item. 

"The work is characterized by much 
learning and sincere feeling." — N. Y. Mirror. 

" One of the most entertaining works we 
have read for many a day, as well as one; 
of the best written. Who the author is we 
know not; but we do know that the book 
will meet with a rapid sale wherever an 
inkling of its character leaks out. For 
watering places, or anywhere, during the 
hot weather, it is worth its weight in — gold i 
we almost said. It is full of everything of ] 
thrt best, and you can scarcely open it at 
random without striking upon some sketch 
»r dialogue to enchain the attention." — Ger- 
mantown Telegraph. 

"His stock of knowledge is large ; and as 
his conscience is rectified by Christian 
principle, and his heart beats in unison 
with the right and the true, he uses his trea- 
sures of information only for good purposes. 

'•The book belongs to that class of novels 
which make an interesting story the me- 
dium for the communication of important 
*juth. In many respects it is a peculiar; 
work, differing- from all others in both de- 
sign and execution, and leaving the impres- 1 
sion that it is the product of a mind of no 
ordinary power. * * * * 

"Those who love to think and/eef, as the 
result of truthful thought, will read the book 
with interest and profit." — Reflector Sf Watch- 

"A rare book. Who in the world wrote 
it? Here are nearly five hundred pages 
with gems on every one of them. The 
satire is equal to that of Don Quixote or 
Asmodeus. The hits at society in this 
country are admirable and well pointed. 
The humbugs of the day are skillfully 

shown up, and the morals of the book ar« 
unexceptionable. The author cannot long 
escape detection, in spite of his shadowy 
concealment, and if a new practitioner he 
will jump to the head of his profession at 
once." — Godey's Lady^s Book. 

" We are prepared to say, that Peter 
Schlemihl is an exceedingly clear and 
well-written work — that the author has 
displayed a considerable amount of book 
lore in its composition — that the story is in- 
teresting and instructive — that we have 
been entertained and edified by its perusal, 
and that it possesses merits of more than 
ordinary character. We cordially recom- 
mend it to the reading community, since we 
are sure that they will be benefitted as well 
as entertained by the revelations contained 
in the pages of Peter. — The National Era. 

"A strangely conceived and ably executed 
work."— N. O. Com. Times. 

"The work forms a consecutive tale, all 
along which runs a vein of severe satire, 
and which at every step is illustrated by a 
vast deal of valuable information, and the 
inculcation of sound principles of morality 
and religion. It is a work which is adapted 
to do good, suited to all intelligent general 
readers, and a pleasant companion for the 
scholar's leisure hours."— N. Y. Recorder. 

"This is a very remarkable production, 
and unless we are greatly deceived, it is 
from a new hand at the literary forge. We 
have read every page of this thick volume, 
and have been strongly reminded of South- 
ey's great book, The Doctor. The author of 
this work must be a man of close observa- 
tion, much research, and if we are accurate 
in our estimate, he is a layman. * * * * 
This same book will make a sensation in 
many quarters, and will unquestionably 
create a name and reputation for its author, 
who forthwith takes his place among the 
best and keenest writers of our country. * * 
We commend it to the gravest and gayest of 
our readers, and assure them that our own 
copy will not go off our table until another 
winter has passed away.' 1 — N. Y. Alliance 
and Visitor. 

"The volume cannot fail to be read exten- 
sively and do good. The popular ' isms* of 
the day, their folly and injurious tendency, 
are descanted upon with mingled gravity 
and humor, and considerable talent and 
truthful feeling are shown in the discus- 
sion. Whether the book have an immediate 
run or not, the soundness of its views, deli- 
vered with some quaititness of style, will 
insure it permanent popularity." — N. York 
Commercial Advertiser. 

"Light, sportive, graceful raillery, ex- 
pressed with terse and delicate ease. * * * 

"It is a novel of fun, with grave notes by 
way of ballast." — Christian Examiner. 


Now ready, in 2 vols, post Svo., price $2 00, with 16 Portraits, 




Biographical Sketches of all the JTIajor and Brigadier General* 

who acted under commissions from Congress during 1 

the Revolutionary War. 

We hail these beautiful volumes with 
undisguised delight. They supply, in a dig- 
nified and comprehensive form, valuable 
information, which will be sought with avi- 
dity, not only by the American public, but 
by the world at large. The want of a work 
ofpositive axtthorily on this subject has long 
been felt and deplored. The enterprise and 
good taste of Messrs. Carey and Hart have 
given us two handsome and reliable vo- 
lumes, betraying industry and talent, and 
replete with facts of the deepest interest. 
There is no idle romancing — no school-boy 
attempts at rhetorical display; on the con- 
trary, the work is written in a clear, un- 
affected, business-like, yet beautiful man- 
ner. The authors had the good sense to 
think that the stirring events of "the times 
that tried men's souls," needed no embellish- 
ment. It is a complete, impartial, and well 
written history of the American Revolu- 
tion, and, at the same time, a faithful bio- 
graphy of the most distinguished aclors in 
that great struggle, whose memories are 
enshrined in our hearts. The typographical 
execution of the work is excellent, and the 
sixteen portraits on steel are remarkably 
well done. The first volume is embel- 
lished with a life-like portrait of Washing- 
ton mounted on his charger, from Sully's 
picture, " Quelling the Whisky Riots." This 
is, we believe, the first engraving taken 
from it. There are biographies of eighty- 
eight Generals, beginning with "the Father 
of his country," and closing with General 
Maxwell. To accomplish this task, we 
are assured that "the accessible published 
and unpubb>hed memoirs, correspondence, 
and other materials relating to the period, 
have been carefully examined and faith- 
fully reflected." We earnestly commend 
this work. It will be found an unerring 
record of the most interesting portion of 
our history.— The City Item. 

This work differs from Mr. Headley's, 
having nearly the same title, in many im- 
portant particulars; and as an historical book 
is much superior — N. Y. Com. Advertiser. 

Certainly ihe most comprehensive and 
individualized work that has ever been 
published on the subject — each member of 
the great dramatis personal of the Revolu- 
tionary tragedy, standing out in bold and 
"sculptured" relief, on his own glorious 
qoi ,} & -Saturday Courier. 

This work is a very different affair from 
the flashy and superficial book of the Rev. 
J. T. Headley, entitled "Washington and 
his Generals." It appears without the 

name of any author, because it is the joint 
production of many of the most eminent 
writers in the country, resident in various 
states in the Union, and having, from the 
circumstance, access to original materials 
in private hands, and to public archives not 
accessible to any one individual without 
long journey and much consumption of 
time. The result, however, is a complete 
and authentic work, embracing biographi- 
cal notices of every one of the Revolution- 
ary Generals. The amount of fresh and ori- 
ginal matter thus 'brought together in these 
moderate-sized volumes, is not less sur- 
prising than it is gratifying to the historical 
reader. This will become a standard book 
of reference, and will maintain its place in 
libraries long after the present generation 
shall have enjoyed the gratification of pe- 
rusing its interesting pages, exhibiting in a 
lively style the personal adventures and 
private characters of the sturdy defenders 
of American Independence. — Scott's Weekly 

The author's name is not given, and from 
what we have read, we presume that va- 
rious pens have been employed in these in- 
teresting biographies. This is no disadvan- 
tage, but, on the contrary, a decided benefit, 
for it insures greater accuracy than could be 
looked for in such a series of biographies 
written by one person in a few rnpnths. 
The volumes are published in a very hand- 
some style. The first sixty pages are oc- 
cupied with the biography of Washington, 
which is written with force and elegance, 
and illustrated by an original view of the 
character of that great man. * * * The 
number of the biographies in these volumes 
is much greater than that of Mr. Headley's 
work. There are eighty-eight distinct sub- 
jects. — N. Y. Mirror. 

We have read a number of the articles, 
find them to be written with ability, and to 
possess a deep interest. The author has 
manifested excellent judgment in avoiding 
all ambitious attempts at what is styled 
fine writing; but gives a connected recital 
of the important events in the lives of his 
heroes. The work will be highly interest- 
ing and valuable to all readers — particu- 
larly so to youth, who are always attracted 
by biographies. If a father wishes to pre- 
sent to his sons noble instances of uncor- 
rupted and incorruptible patriotism, let him 
place this work in their hands. It should 
have a place in every American library, 
and is among the most valuable books of the 
season. — Baltimore American. 









u Nullius addictus jurare in verta magistri." 
In Two Vols. Octavo, 1000 Pages, Cloth, Gilt, 
Price $5. 
" Books of this character best illustrate 
the history of the country. The men who ; 
have acted important parts are made to; 
speak for themselves, and appear without 
any aid from the partiality of friends, or any 
injury from the detraction of enemies." — 
Providence Journal. 

" The materials of which these volumes \ 
are composed are of great value. They 
consist of correspondence, now first given 
to the world, of Washington, the elder 
Adams, Ames, John Marshall, Rufus King, 
Timothy Pickering, Wolcott, &c. There 
are thirty-seven original letters from Alex- 
ander Hamilton, many of them of the highest 
interest; one in which the writer with keen 
sagacity and all the splendor of his elo- 
quence, gives a characterof Mr. Burr upon 
which his own fate was destined to put the 
seal of truth, is read now with singular 
emotions. Mr. Gibbs has performed his 
task extremely well. His preface is modest 
and dignified. The passages of narrative 
by which the letters are connected are ac- 
curate, judicious and agreeable; they illus- 
trate, and do not overlay the principal ma- 
terial of the work." — North American. 

"Here we meet, illustrated in something 
like forty important letters, the blazing intel- 
ligence, the practical sagacity, the heroic 
generosity, the various genius, which have 
made Hamilton the name of statesmanship 
and greatness, rather than the name of a 
man. Here we have the piercing judgment 
of John Marshall, unsusceptible of error, 
whose capacity to see the truth was equalled 
only by his power of compelling others to 
receive it; in the light of whose logic opi- 
nions appeared to assume the nature of 
facts, and truth acquires the palpableness 
of a material reality; the bluntness, force; 
and probity of Pickering; the sterling ex- 
cellences of Wolcott himself, who had no ; 
artifices and no concealment*, because his > 
strength was too great to require them, and 
his purposes too pure to admit them; and 
sounding as an understrain through the 
whole, the prophet tones of Ames."— U. S. 

" An important and valuable addition to 
the Jiistorical lore of the country."— N. Y. 
Evening Gazette. 

" We look upon these memoirs as an ex- 
ceedingly valuable contribution to our na- 
tional records." — N. Y Com. Advertiser. 




In Common Law, Equity, and Admiralty 

From the Organization of the Government in 
1789 to 1847 : 


Reported in Dallas, Cranch, Wheaton, Peters, 
and Howard's Supreme Court Reports ; in 
Gallison, Mason, Paine, Peters, Washington, 
Wallace, Sumner, Story,. Baldwin, Brocken- 
brough, and McLean's Circuit Court Re- 
ports; and in Bees, Ware, Peters, and Gil- 
pin's District and Admiralty Reports. 

With an Appendix — containing the Rules 
and Orders of the Supreme Court of the United 
\ States in Proceedings in Equity, established 
by the Supreme Court. Complete in two 
large octavo volumes, law binding, raised 
bands, at a low priee. 






The Revolution, the French War, the 

Tripolitan War, the Indian War, the 

Second War with Great Britain, 

and the Mexican War. 


"The Army and Navy of the United States." 

In One Volume Octavo, 600 Pages, with 300 

illustrations of Battle Scenes, Portraits, 

8fc. 8[c. 





In Two Vols. 12mo., with Portraits. 

"Mrs. Forbes Bush is a graceful writer, 
and in. the work before us has selected the 
prominent features in the lives of the Queens 
with a great deal of judgment and discrimi- 
nation. These memoirs will be found not 
only peculiarly interesting, but also in- 
structive as throwing considerable light 
upon the manners and customs of pasj 
ages." — Western Continent. 








With 170 Engravings on Wood. 

This work is based upon the most recent discoveries in Science and improvements 
IN Art, and presents a thorough exposition of the principles and practice of the trade in 
all their minutiae. The experience and ability of the author have enabled him to produce 
A more complete and comprehensive book upon the subject than any extant. The whole 
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Chemist and the Student. 

An examination of the annexed table of contents will show the invaluable usefulness 
of the work, the practical features of which are illustrated by upwards of one hundred 


The following synopsis embraces only the main heads of each Chapter and Paragraph. 
Chap. 1. Introductory Remarks. I Spermaceti, Delphinine, Neats 

" 2. The Dignity of the Art and its Re- ? feet Oil. 

lations to Science. \ Chap. 17. The Constituents of Fats, their 

3. Affinity and Chemical EquivU' 

lents : — Explanation of. 

4. Alkalies. — Lime, Potassa, Soda, 


5. Alkalimetry. 

6 Acids.— Carbonic, Sulphuric, Hy- 
drochloric, Nitric, Boracic. 

7. Origin and Composition of Fatty 


8. Saponifiable Fats— Oils of Al- 

mond, Olive, Mustard, Beech, 
Poppy, Rapeseed, Grapeseed; 
Nut Oil, Linseed Oil, Castor 
Oil, Palm Oil, (processes for 
bleaching it;) Coco Butter, 
Nutmeg Butter, Galum Butter, 

9. Adulteration of Oils. 

10. Action of Acids upon Oils. 

11. Volatile Oils.— The Properties of, 

and iheir applicability to the 
Manufacture of Soaps. 

12. Volatile Oils:— Their Origin and 

Composition; Table of their 
Specific Gravities. 

13. Essential Oils: — The Adultera- 

tions of. and the modes of de- 
tecting them. 

14. Wax:— Its Properties and Com- 


15. Resins : — Their Properties and 

Composition; Colophony and 

16. Animal Fats and Oils. :— Lard, 

Mutton Suet, Beef-lallow, Beef- 
marrow, Bone-fat. Soap-grease, 
Oil-lees. Kitchen-stun", Human- 
fat, Adipocire, Butter, Fish-oil, 

Properties and Composition: 
Stearine, Stearic Acid and 
Salts; Margarine, Margaric 
Acid and Salts; Olein, Oleic 
Acid and Salts; Cetine, Cetylic 
Acid ; Phocenine, Phocenic 
Acid and Salts ; Butyrine, Bu- 
tyric Acid and Salts; Caproic, 
Capric Acid; Hircine, Hircic 
Acid; Cholesterine. 

18. Basic Constituents of Fats: — 

Glycerin Ethal. 

19. Theory of Saponification. 

20. Utensils:— Steam Series, Buga- 

diers or Ley Vats, Soap Frames, 
Caldrons, &c. 

21. The Systemized arrangement for 

a Soap Factory. 

22. Remarks,— Preliminary to the 

Process for Making Soap. 

23. Hard Soaps:— " Cutting Pro- 

cess;" Comparative Value of 
Oils and Fats as Soap ingredi- 
ent, with Tables ; White, Mot- 
tled, Marseilles, Yellow, Yan- 
kee Soaps; English Yellow and 
White Soap, Coco Soap. Palm 
Soap. Butter l^oap, English 
Windsor Soap, French Wind- 
sor Soap. Analyses of Soaps. 

24. Process for Making Soap: — Pre- 

paration of the Leys, Empa- 
tage, Relargage, Coc lion, Mot- 
tling, Cooling. 

25. Extemporaneous Soaps: — Lard, 

Medicinal, " Hawes," " Ma 
quer," and '* Darcet's" Soaps 

26. Silicated Soaps :— Flint, Sand, 

" Dunn's," " Davia's" Soaps. 


Chap. 27. Patent Soaps.— Dextrine, Salina- 
ted Soaps, Soap from Hardened 

" 28. Anderson's Improvements. 

u 29. Soft Soaps:— Process for Making, 
Crown Soaps, "Savon Vert." 

" 30. The Conversion of Soft Soaps into 
Hard Soaps. 

" 31. Frauds in Soap Making and 
Means for- their Detection. 

41 32. Earthy Soaps, Marine Soap. Me- 
tallic Soaps. Ammoniacal Soap. 

" 33. Soap from Volatile Oils:— Star- 
ky's Soap, Action of Alkalies 
upon Essential Oils. 

" 34. il Savons Acides," or Oleo-acidu- 
lated Soap. 

" 35. Toilet Soaps : — Purification of 
Soaps, Admixed Soap, Cinna- 
mon, Rose, Orange - flower, 
Bouquet, Benzoin, Cologne, 
Vanilla, Musk, Naples, Kasan 
Soaps, Flotant Soaps, Trans- 
parent Soaps, Soft Soaps, Sha- 
ving Cream; Remarks. 

" 36. Areometers and Thermometers: — 
their use and value. 

" 37. Weights and Measures. 

■ 33. Candles. 

" 39. Illumination. 

" 40. Philosophy of Flame. 

" 41. Raw Material for Candles: — 

Modes of Rendering Fats, 
"Wilson's Steam Tanks. 
Chap. 42. Wicks: — Their use and action. 
Cutting Machines. 
" 43. Of the Manufacture of Candles. 
" 44. Dipped Candles:— Improved Ma- 
chinery for facilitating their 
*' 45. Material of Candles: — Process 

for Improving its Quality. 
" 46. Moulded Candles: — Improved 
Machinery for facilitating their 
Manufacture.— "Vaxeme," or 
Summer Candles. 

1 . 47. Stearic Acid Candles:— Adamant- 
ine and Star Candles. 

1 43. Stearin Candles : — Braconnot's 
and Morfit's Process. 

: 49. Sperm Candles. 

1 50. Palmine, Palm Wax, Coco Can- 

1 51. Wax Candles .-—Mode of Bleach- 
ing the Wax, with drawings of 
the apparatus requisite there- 
for; Bougies, Cierges, Flam- 

1 52. Patent Candles : — " Azotized," 
Movable Wick and Goddard's 
Candles ; Candles on Continu- 
ous Wick; Water and Hour 
Bougies, Perfumed Candles. 
53. Concluding Remarks. 1 



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Nugerft's Memoirs of Hampden. Nare's Me- s terly Revit w? What great wc" " .e 

moirs of Lord Burghley, Dumont's Recol- \ written ? Such questions as th c might be 

lections of Mirabeau. Lord Mahon's W T arof < pui by the same men who place the Speeta- 

the Succession, Walpole's Letters to Sir H. < tor. Tattler and Rambler among the British 

Mann, Thackaray's History of Earl Chat- ( classics, yet judge of the size of a cotempo- 

ham. Lord Bacon. Mackintosh's History of i rary's mind by that of his book, and who 

the Revolution of England. Sir John Mai- ? can hardly recognize amplitude of compre- 

cohrfs Life of Lord Clive, Life and Writings 5 hension, unless it be spread over the six 

of Sir W. Temple, Church and Stale, 5 hundred pages of octavos and quartos.— 


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